Henderson Executive Airport (HEA) is a public airport located in Henderson, 11 miles (18km) south of the Central Business District (CBD) of Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The airport serves Henderson and the surrounding areas with their private and general aviation needs.
Henderson Executive Airport was formerly known as Sky Harbor Airport. In 1996, the Clark County Department of Aviation purchased the airport for use as an overspill facility taking the pressure off the nearby McCarran International for helicopter and small executive aircraft use.
At that time, the airport had one 5,000ft runway, a single terminal building, a control tower built in the 1940s salvaged from Nellis Air Force Base, and several hangars with a handful of trailers.
The facility was earmarked for a major facelift (airport master plan developed in two phases) and has now undergone a major renovation to increase its useful life.
The Clark County Department of Aviation has made a $30m investment at the airport to create a state-of-the-art corporate aviation airport, located just southeast of the Las Vegas Strip. The project included a new control tower and a 29,642ft² terminal to provide services and amenities for the high-end customer. The Clark County Board of Commissioners and the Clark County Department of Aviation held the grand opening of the HEA terminal and facilities in July 2006.
The airport has two parallel runways (17R/35L 6,500ft, 1,981m and 17L/35R 5,000ft, 1,524m, both paved in asphalt and recently refurbished) to meet the needs of virtually all general aviation aircraft; one of these runways is the longest general aviation runway in the valley.
The runways were expanded in an earlier $13m project started in July 2001. The Bureau of Land Management granted the airport an additional 140ac of land for the runway expansions.
The first runway was lengthened by 1,500ft; this was completed in October 2002. The newer 5,000ft parallel runway was completed in March 2003. The expanded runways were then able to accommodate larger F-27 Fokker and Gulf Stream jets, carrying more than 45 passengers.
HENDERSON EXECUTIVE NEW FACILITIES
The new terminal’s amenities include a modern flight planning facility; free Wi-Fi, conference rooms, a pilot’s lounge with flat screen satellite television, and private dressing rooms and showers.
The construction contractors for the project were Clark & Sullivan Constructors. The $23m construction contract included a 29,642ft² terminal building and a new 65ft runway apron for commercial and private airplanes. This project also included the erection of a new standalone 73ft-high air traffic control centre.
The construction of the terminal apron was essential to meet the current and future capacity needs of the Clark County airport system.
Henderson will now be able to alleviate traffic from McCarran Airport, and serve the needs of the Las Vegas flying community into the future. The two parallel runways will allow briefer taxi times and fewer delays.
In late 2004 a $4.37m grant was awarded by the US Department of Transportation, to construct the terminal apron, its associated taxiway, and apron components including marking, lighting and signage.
MCCARRAN OVER CAPACITY
As the nation’s fifth busiest airport, McCarran International is approaching its maximum sustainable capacity of 53 million passengers a year, and airport officials are finding ways to decrease general aviation traffic in order to allow more commercial operations at McCarran.
The newly constructed facilities at Henderson Executive Airport are critical to the success of that plan and the Southern Nevada economy since the County’s airports operate as an integrated system. The number of aircraft operations at Henderson is expected to double by 2010 from 77,000 per year to 154,000.