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Las Vegas Runway Closure

Explorer C

One of the runways at Las Vegas (LAS) is going to be closed awhile for resurfacing, and it may affect our operations there.  Mark Monse, one of our Dispatchers, explains the circumstances:

LAS normally has the capacity to land as many as 60 aircraft per hour, but the closure of 07R/25L (one of their four runways) drops that 60 rate down to anywhere between 44 per hour and 28-32 per hour. The deciding factor is the surface winds and what combinations of the remaining three runways will be able to be used. If LAS is using the only runway config that allows that 44 perr hour rate, any delays should be pretty mininmal. If they're using the three runways configurations that have a 32 per hout rate or the single configuration that has a 28 per hour rate, delays (taken at the departure point, for example,  XYZ-LAS) will ensue. Those delays could be 30/60/90/120 minutes (or more) all depending upon exactly when the winds dictate various runway configurations relative to the peaks and valleys of the traffic scheduled for LAS.

All of the above is predicated on good weather as far as the lack of low cloud ceilings, low visibilities, rainshowers, or thunderstorms, or combinations thereof. Should any of those occur, the arrival rates above could easily be even lower, and the resultant delays higher.

So, it's not the airlines' fault, nor Air Traffic Control's, since all ATC is doing is maintaining a balance between traffic demand and actual traffic capacity. A good thread on the subject is at (Link now works)

Hopefully, good weather will prevail and they'll get the project done well before the planned May 1,2009, completion date.

Explorer C
Link to doesn't work....looks like the ... is messing it up 🙂
Aviator C
Greg, I just saw that. It might be an outdated link. The correct link has been added. Brian
Adventurer B
hmmmh that reminds me of the old joke... it's not the plane's fault, it's not the pilot's fault, it's not the airline's fault... it's the... asphalt (sooooorry... I tried to resist but couldn't!) :o| Raphael
Explorer A
They need to resurface it, since you guys are so busy there! lol

Joseph R. Meyers

Dallas, Texas

Explorer C
i really like the joke! good one 🙂
Adventurer C
Mark, Pulled out my LAS airport diagram. Yikes, that will be an unusual landing direction in their preferred configuration! 25L has been the norm for years. Right in over the Hoover Dam. Hopefully they'll be able to stay with the optimal configuration most of the time. Remind the LAS controllers that we land here at MDW in something like 6000 feet; sometimes in the snow! All your former Navy aviators get to catch the cable again! I fly in there regularly. Any tips as to preferred times based on airport volume? Many folks have some flex in the schedule and can avoid the very peak thereby increasing the chances of an "on time" arrival and departure. Of course things like Friday night into LAS and Sunday afternoon out are going to be trouble. Not anybody's fault; just reality. Let's hope they pour concrete fast.
Explorer C
your service in Las Vegas SUCKS and it seem like everytime I am here your flights are typiacally delayed. Your SERVICE IN LAS VEGAS SUCKS
Explorer C
Southwest sucks in Las Vegas
Explorer B
After just over one week's worth of construction, so far it appears the more likely days for traffic-related congestion and ATC delays are Fridays and Sundays. The overall traffic count (of all aircraft) increases due to weekend trips to/from Las Vegas by non-airline aircraft, even though some of this traffic eschewing LAS in favor of airports in North Las Vegas and Henderson.
Explorer C
Yeah - got stuck in this mess on Sunday evening, Nov. 1st - two hour delay from Reno to San Jose, which is a 39 minute flight. Most annoying. I will pick my flights carefully until this Vegas thing is finished. Hope the blog or some press release will alert us passengers when the construction is finished.
Explorer C
Well, ITS sorta like CAL TRANS in California..... Why don't they do this STUFF at Graveyard instead of Regular Operations? But, With LAS beind a HUGE transfer city wouldn't that make a lil since? PASS IT ON...........
Explorer C
It's not a Southwest issue, it's an Airport issue. Get it right. Southwest didn't choose to resurface the runway and interrupt your services. It's just routine maintainance that has to be done with the amount of weight that hits the runway upon each landing, day in and day out. The wear and tare has taken it's toll. Think safety and the security of nowing Southwest will do everything in it's power to keep you informed of future delays and accomidate you accordingly.
Explorer C
As a member of the staff at another airport Southwest serves I can understand the dismay people feel for a runway closure at LAS. An airport does not take the option to close a runway lightly. The operational impact increases the workload of the employees of the airlines, FAA, and airport authority. I don't know the makeup of the runways at LAS but in general runways in the southwest are concrete where in the north they are asphalt. Concrete takes days to cure where asphalt can be reopened hours after being applied. However due to the high tempetures in LAS asphalt would be too soft to use in the summer. I am sure LAS staff and the FAA took a long hard look at what this would do the traffic at the airport. However sometimes work on our infrastructure needs to be done. From an airport management standpoint I prefer to rebuild a runway just by closing it. However due to the demand and air traffic where I work we do work in phases from 11PM to 6AM.. This keeps the traffic disruptions down but increases the costs. We can do this because we use asphalt and VERY expensive quick harding concrete for our electrical fixtures. I am sure the people at LAS, airline, airport and FAA are working very hard to keep up with their construction schedule and get this runway back open ASAP.
Explorer C
Thanks to you , Mark , for explaining what the REAL reasons of the now infamous LAS delays. We in inflight get the brunt of wise a_ _ remarks regarding those delays most trying to blame SWA for the cause. It's frustrating for us to listen to the same remarks over and over and trying to explain to a customer who won't listen the real reasons of their delay.I hope some of the few who try to ruin our day read your blog and understand whats really happening and join the majority of our fabulous customers [who we luv dearly ] and help us help them through an unpleasant long wait .
Explorer C
Funny that you'll post comments that are negative about our service but wouldn't post negative employee comments about the maintenance fiasco!
Aviator C
Dear anonymous, I don't remember deleting any Employee comments about the Maintenance issue unless they violated our blog policy which has been in place for over two years. It can be accessed in the "about" tab above. Brian
Explorer C
I think the problem is how SW has handled the problem. I was on a flight from LV to Tampa two weeks ago and they delayed our flight 4 hours, while other flights were delayed 1-1.5 hours. The flights that were not direct were being moved up at our expense, so they could drop off and pick up passengers at these interminttent stops. That is not good customer service and comes no where close to the expected levels that SW has as an organization.