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SNSA's Background and Historical Efforts

Site Selection Process

In 2005 a site selection study was conducted over a 50-mile radius from the intersection of I-15 and US Route 95.

Initial screening criteria included maximum terrain slope, driving distance, distance from town centers and BLM disposal areas, proximity to environmentally sensitive areas, and vicinity to restricted airspace.


  • 16 candidate sites were identified and further refined. Four candidate sites remained after the initial selection. These sites were:

    • Ivanpah Valley

    • Moapa Reservation

    • Eldorado Valley

    • Apex

  • Moapa Reservation and Apex were eliminated due to airspace constraints, impacts to Nellis Air Force Base, and terrain.

Final evaluation of Ivanpah Valley and Eldorado Valley included the following criteria:

  • Ability to accommodate airfield facilities and aviation
    related development

  • User access and convenience

  • Potential environmental impacts

  • Potential social impacts

  • Estimated cost

  • Financial implication and ability to fund identified costs

  • Political and institutional implications

The evaluation identified Ivanpah Valley as the site best suited for development of an airport due to:

  • User convenience - having a direct route from the Las Vegas Strip/the study area

  • Offering a redundant access route

  • Potential for transit connection between the site and study area

  • Greater distance away from incompatible land uses (compared to the El Dorado Valley site)

  • Lower development costs than the El Dorado Valley site


Project Vicinity and Site Map

  • Ivanpah Valley Airport Public Lands Transfer Act of 2000

    • Conveyed 6,000 acres of land for construction and operation of an airport

  • Designated Joint Lead Agencies (JLA) for Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

    • Department of Transportation (FAA)

    • Department of the Interior (BLM)

  • 2002 Clark County Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resources Act​

    • ​Allows the County to acquire additional 17,000 acres, for
      airport compatibility, subject to obtaining environmental
      approval from BLM and FAA as JLAs

    • Established a 2,640-foot wide Transportation and
      Utilities Corridor (TUC) for the non-exclusive placement
      of transportation facilities and utilities between the Las
      Vegas Valley and proposed airport

  • 2015 National Defense Authorization Act

    • ​Allows the County to acquire land for modified retention
      basins and flood control subject to obtaining
      environmental approval from BLM and FAA as JLAs

Historical Efforts

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