50 Million Gets Las Vegas a New Airport (video)

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With over 50 million passengers going through Las Vegas McCarren International airport last year, that triggered a restart for the stalled Ivanpah Valley Airport Project.

That’s right, the long-planned, much needed, and previously stalled plans for a second Las Vegas international airport are back in play and it’s going to be at the very southern end of Las Vegas Boulevard. Serious, the southern end of the road…

The spot for the airport is about thirty miles from where the main airport (McCarren International) is now. It’s actually closer to the California border than it is to the city it will serve. The location is only five miles to the California state line and the border town of Primm, Nevada.

Don’t worry, the planned high-speed rail line already has plans for a terminal to be built there!!

The current airport was opened in 1942 and at the time, many people thought it was too far from Downtown las Vegas!  Now it sits surrounded by homes, businesses, and heavy traffic from both vehicles and aircraft! So back in the 1990’s, they began to figure out plans to replace the airport and they landed on 6,000 acres of open, barren government desert land south of Las Vegas.

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las vegas 2nd airport

The Magic Numbers

In the early 2000’s, Clark County Aviation Department, built terminal three. A reliever terminal for the already crowded terminal one and the totally obsolete terminal two. Terminal three is state of the art, is able to handle the largest of the passenger jets, the Boing 747 and the Airbus A380. As well as being easy to reconfigure as needs change.

Terminal three gave the airport a little more time to max out its capacity at 55 million passengers a year.  The idea was to open a second airport, move the cargo jets, and the long haul/heavy jets out to more open spaces first.  Like Ivanpah Valley.

McCarren International Airport (2019)

  • 8th busiest airport in the United States
  • 30 busiest airport in the world

The planners made the decision that once McCarron hit 95% of its capacity (50 million passengers) then the project for the new airport would kick in.  We hit that mark in 2019 and they were predicting we would pass it in 2020 had the pandemic not hit.

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Posted by Mark Anthony

Mark Anthony is The Vegas Tourist! Popular Tourism Ambassador, a frequent contributor to Las Vegas forums as well as travel media and bloggers. Loves to help people discover new things to see, do and experience while visiting Las Vegas and Beyond!

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