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Southwest Airlines Community

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.