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In Las Vegas, an airport built for extreme heat

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 8:13 a.m. HST, Jul 14, 2012

LAS VEGAS >> Hot weather can make it more difficult for planes to get off the ground, but McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas is specially equipped to help pilots conquer the challenges of the desert.

Heat thins the air and makes it more difficult for planes to lift during takeoff, so pilots need to gain more momentum as they cruise down the runway.

McCarran is built for the desert conditions with an extra-long runway measuring 14,505 feet. The Las Vegas Sun reports it's the 27th longest runway in the world, and the third longest among commercial airports in the United States.

It's also sloped downhill 1.1 degrees, which is just enough to help jets reach takeoff speed more easily.

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