McCarran International Airport, also known as LAS, primarily serves Las Vegas. Located about five miles from the city, in the unincorporated town of Paradise, Nevada, the airport takes its name from Nevada Senator Pat McCarran, who secured federal funding for the city of Las Vegas to buy an existing airfield (Rockwell Field) and build a new terminal there for commercial passengers.
After World War II, the U.S. Army wanted to reopen a base (now Nellis Air Force Base) on the first McCarran Airfield, and so the commercial airport moved to Alamo Field in 1948, taking the senator’s name with it. Like the city it serves, McCarran Airport has grown exponentially over the past century. In its first year at its new Alamo Field location, 1949, McCarren served some 35,000 passengers. In 2015, the airport received more than 45 million passengers. Today, it’s considered the eighth busiest airport in the entire world by aircraft movements and the 26th by passenger traffic. LAS has direct flights to destinations across North America, Europe, and Asia.
Located on Wayne Newton Boulevard (named after the iconic Las Vegas performer, aka Mr. Las Vegas), McCarran is only two short miles from the Strip and 15 miles from downtown Las Vegas. Whether you’re traveling by taxi, limo, rental car, hotel shuttle, or city bus—the only way in and out of the airport is by the open road. Some long-distance shuttles (to Zion National Park in Utah, for example) are also available.
McCarran is also home to an Aviation Museum, which celebrates the history of air travel in Las Vegas and is named after Nevada Senator Howard W. Cannon, who helped pass the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, radically reshaping the industry. And, like nearly every lodging option in the city, Las Vegas’s airport is filled with slot machines for passengers over 21 with time and money to spare. After all, it’s not Las Vegas without the sound of slot machines in the background.