Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau
Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 | 2:38 p.m.
McCarran International Airport served 47.4 million passengers last year, making 2016 the second-busiest year in the airport’s 68-year history.
It was the sixth consecutive year of increases and marked a 4.5 percent increase from 2015. McCarran’s annual peak was in 2007 when nearly 48 million passengers arrived or departed.
Low-cost carriers Frontier and Spirit posted growth percentages in the double digits, as did Virgin America.
Domestic passenger volume grew by 4.8 percent, accounting for 1.96 million additional Las Vegas passengers in 2016, with market-leader Southwest Airlines serving 18.2 million passengers.
“This past year, Las Vegas visitation reached a new all-time high, and a large portion of those visitors arrived by air,” said Rosemary A. Vassiliadis, director of the Clark County Department of Aviation. “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.”
For 2016, international passenger volume increased 2.2 percent with Canadian carriers Westjet Airlines and Air Canda serving the bulk of international passengers. Airport officials also noted Hainan Airlines’ began nonstop flights from China in December.
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.