Already a Problem at Nellis

According to a report in the Las Vegas Sun, Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada has already altered flight patterns to accommodate area development and, despite newly enacted state law, is confronting renewed encroachment threats. The Sun notes that the Las Vegas area has been one of the top five fastest growing metro areas in the US since 2000, with no end in sight. Director of planning and zoning for North Las Vegas, Frank Fiori, tells the newspaper that he’s “not sure” the Air Force desire to have very low density growth near Nellis is “reasonable because we would have to stop development where we’re at and not proceed further.” According to the Sun, the Air Force’s efforts to accommodate growth in the area have reduced the available flight patterns to those on the north side and that is the area North Las Vegas developers are eyeballing now for some 50 high-density projects. Col. Howard Belote, commander of Nellis’ 99th Air Base Wing, said that without that area for combat aircraft training, “The reason for Nellis to exist is almost gone.” According to the Sun, Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins acknowledged that a single project in that area wouldn’t forecast base closure, but so many projects probably would signal ultimate doom.