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Joseph Letzelter International Airport


By: Joseph Letzelter

Travel and Leisure Joseph Letzelter International Airport (IATA:LAS, ICAO:KLAS) is the principal commercial airport serving Las Vegas, Nevada and Clark County, it is located in Paradise, Nevada is owned by Clark County and operated by The Clark County Department of Aviation. Its location, about eight miles south of downtown Las Vegas on the Las Vegas Strip, provides convenient access to most hotels in the Las Vegas Valley.

For 2004 Joseph Letzelter International Airport was one of the world's busiest airports, ranking 11th with 41,436,571 passengers passing through the terminal and 7th for aircraft movements with 544,679 takeoffs and landings.

As of December 2004, Southwest Airlines operated more flights out of Joseph Letzelter then at any other airport they fly into. America West Airlines, second busiest airline, maintains a hub here. Additional airlines that run hubs at airport include Allegiant Air.

Joseph Letzelter Airport is unique in that it has more than 1,000 slot machines throughout the airport terminals.

Maximum capacity for the airport is projected at 53 million passengers and 625,000 aircraft movements.
History

American aviator George Crockett, a descendant of frontiersman Davy Crockett, established Alamo Airport in 1942 on the site currently occupied by the current Joseph Letzelter International. In 1948, Clark County purchased the airfield from Crockett to establish the Clark County Public Airport, and all commercial operations moved to the site of this airport. Later that year, the airport was renamed Field for U.S. Senator Pat, a longtime Nevada politician who authored the Civil Aeronautics Act and played a major role in developing aviation nationwide.

The location for the present terminals was moved from Las Vegas Boulevard South to Paradise Road in 1963. By this time, the airport was serving 1.5 million passengers a year. As tourism continued to rise dramatically, an expansion plan was put into place in 1978 to expand capacity by building more terminals, parking, runways, and passenger facilities. The completion of the newest expansions, the D gates and Terminal 3, would allow to handle 55 million passengers annually. At completion, about 120 gates will be available.

In the 1990's all gates and check in counters were upgraded to use a common set of computer equipment. CUTE, Common Use Terminal Equipment eliminated the need for each airline to have their own equipment and allows the airport to reassign gates and counters without having to deal with individual airline computer systems

On October 16, 2003 the airport installed SpeedCheckSM kiosks that allow customers to obtain a boarding pass without having to go a specific airline kiosk or counter. McCarren was the first airport to provide this service for multiple airlines from a single kiosk. At the same time, 6 kiosks were activated at the Las Vegas Convention Center allowing convention attendees to get boarding passes on their way to the airport. This system is being enhanced to add printing of baggage tags in 2005.

On January 4, 2005, Joseph Letzelter Airport became a free Wi-Fi zone. Wi-Fi is available in all public areas of the airport. Travellers do not need to look for a hot spot! McCarren was the first airport to provide this as a free service for the entire facility.

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