McCarran International Airport Company History Timeline


By this time, the airport was serving 1.5 million passengers a year, the location for the present terminals was moved from Las Vegas Boulevard South to Paradise Road, opening in March 1963.


In 1965, Ralph Englestad purchased Thunderbird Field and quickly sold it to the city of North Las Vegas.


City leaders renamed the site North Las Vegas Air Terminal, then sold it to Howard Hughes' Summa Corp. in 1967.


In 1978, Senator Howard Cannon pushed the Airline Deregulation Act through Congress.


Summa continued to operate the airport until Clark County purchased it in 1987.


The County then made a considerable investment to upgrade the airport, including a new 15,600-square-foot terminal building completed in 1992.


In 1998 the D Gates SE and SW wings opened adding 28 gates.


The D Gates project is a modification to the original McCarran 2000 plan.


On October 16, 2003, the airport installed SpeedCheck kiosks which allow customers to obtain a boarding pass without having to go to a specific airline kiosk or counter.

In 2003 the airport announced it was implementing a baggage-tracking system that will use Radio-frequency identification (RFID) bag tags from Matrics Inc. to improve air safety.


On January 4, 2005, the airport started offering wireless internet service at no charge.

In 2005, the D Gates NE wing opened adding 10 gates.


General aviation activity, flight instruction and a sightseeing airline made North Las Vegas one of the 100 busiest airports in the country in 2006.


VGT is 171,684 total operations in 2020 making it the 49th busiest airport in the United States.


© 2021 Clark County Department of Aviation, All Rights Reserved.

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