Allegiant Air’s main focus area and home base location is Las Vegas, Nevada. McCarran International Airport services the Las Vegas area, but it is nearing capacity. Since McCarran is an urban area, expansion is not a viable option. This case study shows that McCarran International Airport can implement short term improvements to handle additional capacity, but the airport has a capacity ceiling that will be hit in the next 5 to 15 years. A supplemental airport is needed to prevent McCarran International Airport from reaching maximum capacity.
Keywords: Allegiant Air, capacity, Clark County, FAA, Ivanpah Valley, KLAS, Las Vegas, McCarran International Airport
Allegiant Air Airport and Airspace Case Study
Allegiant Air’s low cost business model is to shuttle tourists from smaller markets to leisure destinations via direct flights (Company Profile, n.d.). Allegiant considers their tourist destinations (Oakland, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Palm Springs, Honolulu, Maui, Myrtle Beach, Orlando, Tampa Bay, Fort Meyers, and Fort Lauderdale) as their focus areas (Allegiant Air, .n.d.). The main focus area and home base for Allegiant is McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. McCarran International Airport is located close to the company headquarters in Enterprise, Nevada (a suburb of Las Vegas). McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas is the focus of this airport and airspace case study. This study will evaluate if McCarran is well suited to support increased airport and airspace capacity that is expected in the future.
McCarran International Airport History
Las Vegas was founded as a city on May 15th, 1905, and gambling was officially legalized in March 1931 (Las Vegas, n.d.). Gambling and other forms of vice grew just as quickly as Las Vegas, thus earning the city the dubious nickname Sin City. McCarran Airport opened in its current location in late 1948 after Alamo Field was sold to Clark County (Hall-Patton, 2010). When founded in its current location, McCarran Airport was located on the Los Angeles Highway (Las Vegas Boulevard today), 4 miles south of Las Vegas (Hall-Patton, 2010). Today, McCarran International Airport (ICAO code KLAS) is home to two pairs of parallel runways (AirNav, n.d.). Of the four runways at KLAS, three are grooved concrete, and one is asphalt (AirNav, n.d.). Las Vegas has quickly grown around McCarran airport such that today, it is considered “an urban airport, hemmed in by thriving business districts, flourishing housing developments, and severely constrained airspace” (Project Definition and Justification, 2006).
McCarran International Airport Demand and Growth Trend
Las Vegas is prone to macro adjustments in tourism, such as those caused by the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 2008-2009 economic downturn. However, even with unexpected adjustments, Las Vegas tourism is steadily increasing. Accordingly to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 39,668,221 tourists...