The Harry Reid International Airport, formerly known as McCarran International Airport, is one of the nation’s ten busiest airports.
Due to the rapid growth of the Las Vegas area, Clark County has planned the construction of a new airport to increase capacity and better handle air traffic.
While the project has been stalled for over a decade, the Ivanpah Valley proposed airport site, which Clark County purchased land for over a decade ago, it’s making progress.
The site, which is 6,500 acres located thirty miles south of Las Vegas between Jean and Primm, will be where the new airport is built.
The Ivanpah Valley site was chosen for Las Vegas airport expansion as it has even terrain for flight and terminal facilities, available land, and good access.
The proposed site is currently desert scrubland with creosote bush and other desert vegetation.
As it is more than 20 miles south of Harry Reid Airport and Nellis Air Force base, the location would help minimize crowded air space and existing air traffic flight paths. The Ivanpah Valley is the favored site for the SNSA.
The location is just off Interstate 15, SR 604 and the rail line for the Union Pacific Railroad also passes through the area.
While the project was formerly called the Ivanpah Valley Airport, it’s now being called Southern Nevada Supplemental Airport (SNSA).
The SNSA would focus on commercial air traffic, allowing Harry Reid Airport to be used strictly for passenger traffic.
Due to the cost, environmental impact studies, and complexity, the SNSA is not likely to be completed until the 2030s.
As part of the new airport construction, high–speed rail service is in the planning stages between Primm and Las Vegas, and Southern California.
Due to the thirty–mile distance between the proposed airport and Las Vegas and the current lack of passenger rail service in the area, high–speed rail would be highly beneficial for the new airport.
The Brightline West project is proposing the construction of a 190-mile high-speed train line from Victor Valley California to Las Vegas, which would run through Primm and the new airport.
The top speed of this train would be over 200 miles per hour. Several other rail options are being considered as the total cost of the Brightline West project could exceed $7 billion.
The proposed SNSA would undoubtedly enhance Primm's status as a more significant destination in Southern Nevada and stengthen its connection with the Las Vegas area.
If construction moves forward, it would bring tremendous growth to the Primm area in the coming years.
You can view a slideshow from the Clark County Department of Aviation on the project planning and map of the proposed site location here.