77°F
weather icon Clear

Secret Las Vegas airline posted job ad for trips to Area 51

Updated January 12, 2018 - 4:29 pm

How do you recruit new flight attendants for a top-secret airline with service to places like Area 51?

Not very secretly, as it turns out.

Military contractor AECOM made headlines around the world this week after posting a “help wanted” ad for the hiding-in-plain-sight air service it runs between McCarran International Airport and certain, ahem, undisclosed locations in Nevada and elsewhere.

The flight attendant job listed on the company’s website required at least a high school diploma, basic knowledge of math and computers, good public speaking skills and the ability to “push and pull heavy hinged aircraft doors weighing up to 80 lbs.”

Qualified applicants also must be “level-headed and clear thinking while handling unusual incidents and situations (severe weather conditions, including turbulence, delays due to weather or mechanicals, hijackings or bomb threats).”

What’s the clearance, Clarence?

Las Vegas-area candidates with prior flight attendant experience were preferred. “Active top secret clearance highly desired,” the ad said.

The job posting has been removed, but not before being featured in USA Today and picked up by news organizations as far away as India.

In an email Thursday, an AECOM representative said the listing was taken down because “the position has been closed.”

The ad did not specify where the flights in question would take off or land, but the company is widely known to ferry personnel from Las Vegas to Area 51 and other secret military sites.

The flight service, nicknamed Janet Air after the call sign its aircraft use, maintains its own secure parking lot and terminal off Haven Street on the west side of McCarran. Its fleet includes at least four unmarked 737 passenger jets, each with a distinctive red stripe on the fuselage, along with several smaller twin-prop commuter planes.

Allegedly, of course.

When asked what she knows about Janet Air, McCarran spokeswoman Christine Crews said: “The planes are white with a red stripe. They come and go.”

No drink service

Working as a crew member for the secret flight service sounds pretty boring to former Area 51 worker T.D. Barnes.

Based on what he’s been told by former Janet Air flight attendants, the job mostly entails making sure no one gets on the plane who doesn’t belong there and being ready in case of a midair emergency.

“They don’t serve drinks or anything like that,” Barnes said.

There was no Janet Air — and there certainly weren’t any flight attendants — back when he was making regular trips to Area 51 while working for the CIA.

He said workers would fly to the site from Nellis Air Force Base on a Monday morning and fly back on Friday evening. “A few of us flew up on a Beechcraft Queen Air that we had concealed in a small building on the back side of the McCarran runway just off Sunset Road,” Barnes said.

Despite the worldwide fascination with the place, he said a lot of the time he spent at the secret base on the dry Groom Lake bed wasn’t terribly exciting.

“If there wasn’t something going on, I’d be twiddling my thumbs,” said the 80-year-old Henderson resident and author of the new book “The Secret Genesis of Area 51.” “When I was out there, it was one of the boringest jobs I ever had.”

Other openings available

Still, if you’re interested in a career with Janet Air, AECOM has also posted job openings for an air traffic controller and an airfield manager — assuming you qualify for top-secret security clearance.

Though Barnes can’t speak to what’s going on at the secret base these days or what the commute is like for current workers there, he said he can clear up one mystery.

“There has always been a lot of speculation on what Janet stands for,” he said. “Many have always thought it was an acronym for something.”

The most popular theory: Just Another Non-Existent Terminal.

As usual, though, the truth is out there — and a whole lot less interesting. Barnes said Janet was just the name of Area 51 Commander Richard “Dick” Sampson’s wife.

Contact Henry Brean at hbrean@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0350. Follow @RefriedBrean on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Tomi Lahren Speaks at UNLV - VIDEO
Fox News contributor and UNLV alumna Tomi Lahren returned to campus Wednesday night for a speech, titled “Stay Triggered,” that drew an auditorium of supporters as well as a group of protesters outside. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders released from Las Vegas hospital - VIDEO
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., issues a statement after he was released from Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week. (Bernie Sanders via Twitter)
Democratic presidential candidates speak on impeachment - VIDEO
Democratic presidential candidates attending the March for Our Lives/Giffords Gun Safety Forum in Las Vegas comment on possible impeachment proceedings. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden Las Vegas Rally Highlights - Video
2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, came to Las Vegas to talk guns, climate change and the Ukranian-Trump scandal. Biden was interrupted by a protestor who sat amongst supporters at the rally and continued with his speech. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden comments on Trump and his campaign efforts in Nevada - Video
After an impeachment inquiry was opened on Donald Trump, Joe Biden talks with Review-Journal politics reporter Rory Appleton about Trump and his campaign in Nevada. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
 
2 pilots, 5 others killed in WWII-era bomber crash in Connecticut

A pilot with more than 7,000 hours of experience flying a B-17 and his co-pilot were among seven people killed when the bomber crashed and burned at a Connecticut airport, officials said Thursday.

Appeals court asked to halt discharge of Airmen with HIV

The Department of Justice has argued that the military allows service members who contract HIV to continue to serve if they can perform their duties.