Janet Airlines is the Top Secret Government’s official passenger airline and Las Vegas is its hub. Each day, its planes transport over 1000 workers from their homes in Las Vegas and Palmdale, California (see entry for Plant 42 in the CALIFORNIA section) to Area 51 and the Nellis Test Range in Nevada. It is also rumored that some Janet flights go to White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
Janet Airlines gets its name because “Janet” is the identifier heard used by its airplanes when communicating with air traffic control facilities. (It is rumored to stand for “Joint Air Network for Employee Transportation.”) However, don’t look for that name on any of its aircraft. Janet Airlines uses aircraft painted white with a single red stripe running down the length of the fuselage; the identifying numbers indicate the planes are registered to the Air Force. Janet uses mainly Boeing 737s along with some smaller Beechcraft planes. In Las Vegas, Janet Airlines flights depart from a private, secure terminal near McCarran Airport on Haven Street while flights at Palmdale are boarded at a facility on Plant 42 property adjacent to the Palmdale Airport.
Janet Airlines Terminal Las Vegas Photo Gallery
Janet Airlines is operated by EG&G (see entry in the MARYLAND section). This is known because public records indicate the terminal facility is leased to EG&G. As noted above, the actual planes belong to the Air Force. It is not known whether the pilots are civilian or military, but the most likely scenario is that they are former military pilots now employed by EG&G. The passengers are all civilian employees of companies with projects underway at Area 51, Nellis, and other locations in the Southwest. The exact number of employees who commute this way is not known, but over 1,000 cars have been observed in the terminal’s parking lot.
Those who travel on Janet Airlines work some unusual hours. Cars generally begin arriving around 3:30 a.m. and continue to arrive for about an hour later. (Even though they arrive when it’s dark, most cars turn off their headlights as they approach the guard shacks at the entrance to the parking lots.) Flights load and take off quickly, far faster than commercial flights. Janet usually operates only on Monday through Friday; any weekend flights are generally considered a good sign that something exceptional is going on at one of the facilities serviced by Janet.
What’s There: The Janet terminal looks very much like an ordinary general aviation facility, except for the high fence (topped with barbed wire), two guard shacks, and security guard patrols. Do not attempt to trespass on this property; trespassers have been arrested. Individuals in cars parked on Haven Street have had their license plate numbers taken by security guards and have also been told to move by Las Vegas police; presumably the police were acting at the request of terminal security guards. There are apartments on neighboring streets that offer unobstructed views of the terminal and the cars entering and leaving it.
Getting a Look Inside-. The fences and security guards will keep you from actually walking inside. However, you can get a good view of the terminal, parking lot, and Janet airplanes arriving and departing from many high-rise hotels on the strip near McCarran. If you have a room facing McCarran in the Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, Hacienda, MGM Grand, or Tropjcana, you can watch activity at the terminal, including arrivals and departures, from your hotel room!
Listening In: Frequencies used by Janet aircraft to communicate with air traffic control in Las Vegas include 118.00, 118.70, and 133.95 MHz.
Unusual Fact: Among the job openings sometimes found on the EG&G website are what seem to be Janet Airlines flight attendant positions. These positions, based in Las Vegas, require candidates to have experience on 737 jets and hold a current Secret, or higher, security clearance; among the duties these flight attendants must perform include “manifesting passengers per security requirements” and “occasional overnight support as required.”
Getting There: The Janet Airlines terminal is located on Haven Street at the northwest corner of McCarran Airport. From the Las Vegas Strip, take East Hacienda Avenue toward McCarran. Haven Street is the first right immediately after Bethel Lane.