McCarran Served 47.4 Million Passengers in 2016
McCarran International Airport welcomed 47.4 million arriving and departing passengers last year, making 2016 the second-busiest year in the airport’s 68-year history. Extending the recent trend of year-over-year increases for a sixth consecutive year, the 2016 total marked a 4.5 percent upturn from the year prior. McCarran’s annual peak was in 2007 at nearly 48 million passengers.
Most of the domestic air carriers serving Las Vegas had modest increases in passenger volume in 2016, though low-cost carriers Frontier and Spirit posted growth percentages in the double digits, as did Virgin America. Overall, domestic passenger volume grew by 4.8 percent, accounting for 1.96 million additional Las Vegas passengers in 2016, with market-leader Southwest Airlines having served 18.2 million passengers over the course of the year.
In recent years, much of the airport’s new service has come from markets outside of the United States, including the most recent addition of Hainan Airlines’ nonstop flights from China in December. For 2016, international passenger volume increased 2.2 percent with Canadian carriers Westjet Airlines and Air Canda serving the bulk of international passengers.
“This past year Las Vegas visitation reached a new all-time high, and a large portion of those visitors arrived by air. As Las Vegas continues to be one of the world’s top leisure and business destinations, McCarran is committed to supporting our community and prides itself on being part of the Las Vegas experience,” said Rosemary A. Vassiliadis, director of the Clark County Department of Aviation.
As passenger volume has grown, McCarran officials have constantly evaluated the airport’s infrastructure and operations for ways to enhance customer service, maximize efficiencies and increase flexibility. With a focus on improving the passenger travel experience, leaders from the Department of Aviation, airlines, tenants and service providers have come together to launch an airportwide customer service program called MAYS: McCarran At Your Service. Infrastructure improvements can be seen throughout Terminal 1, where a $30 million renovation project is bringing new flooring and updated bathrooms to both Baggage Claim and Ticketing, as well as brighter lighting, contemporary wall coverings and new check-in counters.
In anticipation of continued international air traffic growth, the airport is converting seven existing domestic gates into those equipped with secured corridors that direct travelers toward U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers. This project will allow for up to six additional international wide-body aircraft to be on gates simultaneously. One gate will even have dual-level jet bridges to accommodate the Airbus A380, giving McCarran more capacity than ever to welcome the world into Las Vegas.