It was certainly closed for a few months at the back end of 2011, I was told in relation to construction work involving new taxiway lighting and other projects which meant that there was an increased burden on controllers and increased risks during SIRO, so was easier just to use the parallels instead, particularly GA
traffic is no where what it was a few years ago anyway to require its use.
I believe it is open now, I saw the lights on briefly the other day, but have not seen anything land on it for quite a while. I have seen it used for 737/320 size aircraft during a very strong crosswind, in fact saw the PR
343 use it for the LAS
hop! That was years ago and have not seen it used in this way for a very long time. Doesnt mean its not, but its very rare.
Before closure, particularly in summer when the winds were light it was often used by the Jazz, 8P
& 9M flights coming in from the north as well as the Navajo's, medevacs & Carson Metro's plus the odd bizjet & GA
, again mostly originating from northern BC
so they could get a straight path in. Suppose it reduced congestion in the hold pattern at peak times, particularly with slow aircraft like ho's and van's playing with 747's.
Yeah, a bird conservation area at the end of a runway at a major international airport is always a smart idea... I guess the feathered kind were there before the metal ones, but Im sure they could be "transferred" to Reifel or elsewhere if necessary.