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Author Topic: Proposal to build new Las Vegas airport is back  (Read 796 times)

gonealookin

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Proposal to build new Las Vegas airport is back
« on: September 19, 2018, 02:20:10 PM »

With traffic increasing and no room to expand at close-in McCarran Airport,
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(Clark) County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to prepare to conduct an environmental impact study for building the airport on 6,000 acres of undeveloped federal land along Interstate 15 between Jean and Primm, about 32 miles south of Las Vegas. The proposal had been put on hold after the recession caused a drop in tourism.

Any new airport would have to go to the south of town because
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Building an airport so far south of the Las Vegas Valley is necessary because of airspace restrictions north of Charleston Boulevard due to Nellis Air Force Base, Vassiliadis said.

Full story from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/clark-county/idea-of-new-airport-south-of-las-vegas-valley-takes-off-again/

My recollection from the last time this subject came up, pre-Great Recession, is that California, specifically Senators Feinstein and (at the time) Barbara Boxer, expressed concerns about the environmental impact of airport operations on the Mojave National Preserve.

An airport along I-15 could be served by a station on the Victorville to Las Vegas HSR line.  The rights to build that line have been held by XpressWest, but XpressWest has just been acquired by Brightline.
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Brightline, a privately owned and operated intercity passenger rail system serving Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, on Tuesday announced plans to take over the rights to XpressWestís 185-mile federally approved rail corridor along Interstate 15. Brightline indicated it would begin building the $7 billion rail line next year with completion of a link between Victorville and Las Vegas by 2022.

Full story on the HSR rights acquisition:  https://www.reviewjournal.com/business/tourism/florida-firm-acquires-company-planning-las-vegas-to-la-rail-line/
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Proposal to build new Las Vegas airport is back
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2018, 02:38:23 PM »

Building that far south of the Strip would be disastrous for tourism on the Strip.  No one is going to want to start their Vegas trip a half-hour away, which would put taxi/Uber fares in the $75 - $100 range.  Even taking the train wouldn't be a great option, because once you reach the core of the tourism area, where would you put the station/stations?  One would still need to transfer to another mode of transportation.

If Vegas was the ONLY gambling mecca in the US, maybe they could get away with it.  Not anymore.
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triplemultiplex

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Re: Proposal to build new Las Vegas airport is back
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2018, 03:00:29 PM »

Bring back commercial sea planes and have them land on Lake Mead.

 :sombrero:
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webny99

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Re: Proposal to build new Las Vegas airport is back
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2018, 03:01:48 PM »

Yikes; 32 miles seems kind of far. It would actually be closer to the California line than Vegas. Even if the distance can be covered entirely on the interstate system, anything over 20 miles is a bit.. out there.
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US 89

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Re: Proposal to build new Las Vegas airport is back
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2018, 04:05:06 PM »

Building that far south of the Strip would be disastrous for tourism on the Strip.  No one is going to want to start their Vegas trip a half-hour away, which would put taxi/Uber fares in the $75 - $100 range.  Even taking the train wouldn't be a great option, because once you reach the core of the tourism area, where would you put the station/stations?  One would still need to transfer to another mode of transportation.

If Vegas was the ONLY gambling mecca in the US, maybe they could get away with it.  Not anymore.

Exactly my thoughts. The current airport is less than ten minutes from the Strip -- quite impressive for a major city's airport.

Agreed on the taxi fares. IIRC, a cab from IAH to downtown Houston (20 miles) costs upwards of $60, and this would probably be somewhere in the range of 40 miles. There's no way this should even be considered without a guarantee of a train being built -- and it would have to be an express train. Light rail wouldn't cut it, because it would still be faster to drive on the interstate. Maybe that train could end at a "transit hub" near the current airport, where one could transfer to cab or perhaps to a future monorail extension (again, that would have to be guaranteed before this idea gets any consideration).

In addition, the increased traffic load on that part of I-15 would probably cause significant congestion at high-demand times like Friday afternoons, and might prompt more urban sprawl in that direction as well.
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abefroman329

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Re: Proposal to build new Las Vegas airport is back
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2018, 06:49:53 PM »

The proposal for the Primm airport includes a maglev or high-speed rail connection to Las Vegas.

Though I agree the notion that additional capacity is needed is ludicrous. Tourism (Vegasí biggest industry by far) is highly dependent on the economy and has been declining ever since other states began legalizing casino gambling. The city needs a decent rail connection to Southern California, not more hourlong flights there.
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mgk920

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Re: Proposal to build new Las Vegas airport is back
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2018, 07:31:24 PM »

The proposal for the Primm airport includes a maglev or high-speed rail connection to Las Vegas.

Though I agree the notion that additional capacity is needed is ludicrous. Tourism (Vegas’ biggest industry by far) is highly dependent on the economy and has been declining ever since other states began legalizing casino gambling. The city needs a decent rail connection to Southern California, not more hourlong flights there.

Agreed about the need for a decent mass-transit connection between a new LAS and the Strip and downtown.  I'd use the same 'true' HSR new airport station for city to airport traffic as for the Los Angeles (et al) <-> Las Vegas traffic, with full-speed express through tracks being used as part of the station and separate platform tracks being used for traffic between the new LAS and the city/Strip as well as for regional trains.  Have one or two 'Strip' stations along with the downtown terminal (designed to allow for potential future extensions) and the monorail to connect the various resorts to the stations.

I'm intrigued by the proposal to build a Los Angeles-Las Vegas 'true' HSR line as a fully private venture, too, although this is at the top of my list of 'the numbers do add up in my mind' feasible routings for such a service.

Does this new airport proposal also include retaining a possibly downgraded existing LAS, as opposed to completely abandoning it and selling the land for redevelopment?

Mike
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ilpt4u

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Re: Proposal to build new Las Vegas airport is back
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2018, 08:59:54 PM »

So why the restrictions north of town? What does the Air Force have @ Nellis, that cannot allow commercial flights near?

Granted, not near the same air volume, but Scott Air Force Base in the Metro East/IL side of the STL metro area has a Passenger Terminal and shares runways with Commercial flights! (Alligant is the only Commercial Carrier using BLV - all others use STL/Lambert Field)

Better yet, why does the Air Force need an Air Base in Vegas to begin with?

Any Air Force Vets out there, knowing what Operational Importance Nellis has?

Either taking over Nellis for Exclusive Commercial Use or expanding it for both Commercial and Military use would be a better idea, I think
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tdindy88

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Re: Proposal to build new Las Vegas airport is back
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2018, 09:32:14 PM »

So why the restrictions north of town? What does the Air Force have @ Nellis, that cannot allow commercial flights near?

Area 51?
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ilpt4u

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Re: Proposal to build new Las Vegas airport is back
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2018, 09:35:16 PM »

So why the restrictions north of town? What does the Air Force have @ Nellis, that cannot allow commercial flights near?

Area 51?
Use the land south of Vegas they are studying, and build a new Nellis Air Base there, and take over the current Nellis for expanded Commercial Ops

Pretty sure Area 51 isnít actually at Nellis, but its in Nevada somewhere, I think. I went looking for it on Google Earth years ago...it is certainly on the map, just donít remember it being that close to Vegas
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tdindy88

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Re: Proposal to build new Las Vegas airport is back
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2018, 09:46:46 PM »

Yeah, probably too far north from the city, sorry about that.

Back to the topic though, I agree that there is probably no real reason to have a second airport. There's no real reason for St. Louis to have a second airport either IMO.

If only they could get a transit system to actually connect with the current airport and up to downtown. And include with that a train from L.A. to a transfer station at the airport, that would sound pretty nice.
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gonealookin

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Re: Proposal to build new Las Vegas airport is back
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2018, 09:52:14 PM »

Does this new airport proposal also include retaining a possibly downgraded existing LAS, as opposed to completely abandoning it and selling the land for redevelopment?

The linked article quotes the county aviation director saying the new airport would "supplement" McCarran, which I take to mean it would remain open at a significant service level.
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ilpt4u

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Re: Proposal to build new Las Vegas airport is back
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2018, 09:54:37 PM »

The current Vegas Monorail is clearly designed to go onto the McCarren property today. Check out the track stub end near the Airport Northern Border just South of the MGM on Tropicana Ave
https://goo.gl/maps/uP93nNsFQf62

That hanging stub is begging for an extension to McCarren. From what Iíve gathered, the Vegas Cab Companies have lobbied hard, to keep the Monorail from being expanded directly to McCarren (no idea if that is factually accurate)
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Re: Proposal to build new Las Vegas airport is back
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2018, 10:00:10 PM »

So why the restrictions north of town? What does the Air Force have @ Nellis, that cannot allow commercial flights near?

Area 51?
Use the land south of Vegas they are studying, and build a new Nellis Air Base there, and take over the current Nellis for expanded Commercial Ops

Pretty sure Area 51 isnít actually at Nellis, but its in Nevada somewhere, I think. I went looking for it on Google Earth years ago...it is certainly on the map, just donít remember it being that close to Vegas

Area 51 is at Groom Lake. Here's a Google Maps satellite view of it.
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mgk920

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Re: Proposal to build new Las Vegas airport is back
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2018, 12:33:50 AM »

So why the restrictions north of town? What does the Air Force have @ Nellis, that cannot allow commercial flights near?

Area 51?
Use the land south of Vegas they are studying, and build a new Nellis Air Base there, and take over the current Nellis for expanded Commercial Ops

Pretty sure Area 51 isnít actually at Nellis, but its in Nevada somewhere, I think. I went looking for it on Google Earth years ago...it is certainly on the map, just donít remember it being that close to Vegas

Area 51 is at Groom Lake. Here's a Google Maps satellite view of it.

Yea, Nellis is where (one of?) the USAF's R&D labs is located.  It is an ideal location for that because of the area's wide-open spaces that are fairly easy to keep curious eyes away from.

Mike
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abefroman329

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Re: Proposal to build new Las Vegas airport is back
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2018, 02:24:42 AM »

The current Vegas Monorail is clearly designed to go onto the McCarren property today. Check out the track stub end near the Airport Northern Border just South of the MGM on Tropicana Ave
https://goo.gl/maps/uP93nNsFQf62

That hanging stub is begging for an extension to McCarren. From what Iíve gathered, the Vegas Cab Companies have lobbied hard, to keep the Monorail from being expanded directly to McCarren (no idea if that is factually accurate)
Itís hard to say what that track stub was originally intended for, since the monorail began life as a privately-owned shuttle between the MGM Grand and Ballyís, but you are right that it would be easy to extend the monorail from its current end to the airport. You are also right that transportation operators have fought this extension tooth and nail.
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abefroman329

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Re: Proposal to build new Las Vegas airport is back
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2018, 02:27:06 AM »

The proposal for the Primm airport includes a maglev or high-speed rail connection to Las Vegas.

Though I agree the notion that additional capacity is needed is ludicrous. Tourism (Vegasí biggest industry by far) is highly dependent on the economy and has been declining ever since other states began legalizing casino gambling. The city needs a decent rail connection to Southern California, not more hourlong flights there.

Agreed about the need for a decent mass-transit connection between a new LAS and the Strip and downtown.  I'd use the same 'true' HSR new airport station for city to airport traffic as for the Los Angeles (et al) <-> Las Vegas traffic, with full-speed express through tracks being used as part of the station and separate platform tracks being used for traffic between the new LAS and the city/Strip as well as for regional trains.  Have one or two 'Strip' stations along with the downtown terminal (designed to allow for potential future extensions) and the monorail to connect the various resorts to the stations.

I'm intrigued by the proposal to build a Los Angeles-Las Vegas 'true' HSR line as a fully private venture, too, although this is at the top of my list of 'the numbers do add up in my mind' feasible routings for such a service.

Does this new airport proposal also include retaining a possibly downgraded existing LAS, as opposed to completely abandoning it and selling the land for redevelopment?

Mike
My understanding of the private HSR plan is that every casino wants it to stop at their front door, and none will support it if it doesnít. With the old Desert Wind, it was simple: The Union Pacific owned the Union Plaza hotel and casino, so thatís where the train station was.
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