Ivanpah airport site will be needed to handle eventual overflow at Las Vegas’ Reid International Airport

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Las Vegas has one of the nation’s busiest airports. Millions pass through the Harry Reid International Airport each year making it seventh in the nation for the most passengers.

For a long time, Clark County has talked about building a second airport to handle the growing demand.

In 1948, what we now call Reid International Airport was on the outskirts of town but decades later that’s no longer the case.

“We are growing,” said Roben Armstrong, Clark County Dept. of Aviation.

Armstrong is responsible for guiding Reid through its growing pains.

“We are landlocked, so there’s only so much room for expansion. We’re basically capped at this point,” she said.

The airport has expanded relentlessly since the mid-90s. But even then, Clark County could see Las Vegas growing around the airport and another solution was necessary.

“As long as the projected growth continues as it has been and demand continues, then the need will be there,” Armstrong said.

Clark County owns 6,000 acres in the Ivanpah Valley near Primm to build another airport. Armstrong presented revised plans to the commission last month, showing the footprint of what the facility could look like.

“We will serve the same clients at that airport that we do here now,” she said.

Airport officials say the proof is in the numbers. Since 2010, Reid International has seen a steady growth of passengers, from 39 million to a record 51 million in 2019. After the pandemic setback, the airport is right back where it was.

But, it’ll be a while. Armstrong believes it’ll be another 15 years before the second airport is built. However, the work is underway now so Las Vegas doesn’t miss its connection with the future.

“The demand will be there and we want to be prepared,” Armstrong said.

Clark County could buy another 17,000 acres around the airport site to make sure it doesn’t get crowded.

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