Airlines Complain about Vegas Airport’s Plan

Despite seeing a decrease in the number of arrivals, construction of a new terminal will go ahead as planned at McCarran Airport Las Vegas. Though the 2 billion dollar project will not be completed until 2012, some airlines are questioning the timing of the project. It’s not secret that airlines are struggling. Arrivals are down almost 5% at McCarran since last year. A drop of as high as 15% is forecast for next year.

Southwest Airlines has been the biggest critic of the expansion. Over 30% of Las Vegas arrivals fly Southwest. But the airline has been trimming back its service to Sin City. The airport expansion will mostly be funded by an increase in the fees that airlines pay to use the airport and its gates. No one wants to hear talk of higher prices right now, especially at a bread-and-butter location like Las Vegas. After the rapid growth that the city has been experiencing, no one seems to want to look at the facts. But things are slowing down. I guess McCarran is gambling that things won’t be so slow in a couple of years.