The primary airport serving Las Vegas and its surrounding valley, McCarran International Airport is situated eight kilometres south of the Downtown area. It was named for Pat McCarran, a former senator who played an influential role in the development of aviation in Las Vegas and offers direct flights to destinations across North America, Europe and Asia.
McCarran International Airport operates from four runways and two terminal buildings, Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, with Terminal 2 having been demolished in 2016. Terminal 1 is dedicated to domestic flights, with ticketing and baggage claim found on Level 1 and four concourses leading to the departure gates on Level 2. An esplanade with shops, cafes and restaurants is also located here, together with a USO lounge for military service members, the Centurion lounge for American Express card holders, a United Club, as well as the Club at LAS which is available to all paying passengers. The Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum chronicles the early history of aviation in the region, dedicated to another former senator who also contributed to aviation development in Nevada. Terminal 3 handles all international flights and a few domestic connections, with retail outlets scattered throughout and two lounges. The airport is a major hub for Allegiant Air and Southwest Airlines who offer flights across the United States, as well international services with WestJet, Air Canada Rouge, Virgin Atlantic, Aeroméxico and British Airways.
A complimentary shuttle connects the two terminal buildings and parking lots, while another connects them to the rental car facility with is located around five kilometres from the airport. Public buses depart from Level 0 of Terminal 1 and Level 2 of Terminal 3 into the Downtown area and Las Vegas Valley, while private shuttles offer door-to-door services.
McCarran International Airport began operating commercial flights in 1948, serving just over 35,000 passengers in its first year. As casinos flourished in the city and air travel become more popular throughout the 1950s, demand on the airport increased dramatically, and a new passenger terminal was built in the early 1960s.