JANET Flights are the names of the flights that bring Area 51 employees from Las Vegas each day.
The Janet flights fly Area 51 employees from Las Vegas to the Groom Lake base, the Tonopah Test Range, Edwards AFB (North Base), and other “spook” areas every day.
They are called “JANET” because they use this prefix, followed by a three-digit number, over air traffic radio transmissions both at McCaren and at Area 51.
Janet flights operate out of a private air terminal, owned by EG&G, in its own “secure” area at McCarran International Airport. While no one knows for sure what the acronym “JANET” stands for, it could mean “Just Another Non-Existent Terminal”, or more likely, “Joint Air Network for Employee Transportation.”
As stated on lazygranch.com:
“The McCarrin parking garage would make a good observation point if you wanted to log Janet flights. [ If your really wanted to make the definitive Janet Airlines schedule and was willing to waste all day doing so, this would be your cheapest alternative. With two people, you could even head into the terminal for breaks or food while the other keeps post. You could do the same from your hotel room, but house keeping will wonder what the hell you are doing with a scanner and telephoto equipped camera. I suppose a small bribe would keep them from alerting security… ] Make sure you use the long term parking garage as the location that faces the Janet terminal from the short term parking garage is a very high profile area. The FAA parking is located there (at least on level 5), and I saw mag stripe readers to enter some doors. I don’t think anyone would hassle you in long term parking, though there are signs indicating bicycle police patrol the area. Head for row J, then the corner of the garage. The distance between the parking garage and the Janet terminal is 1 mile, which makes observation with binoculars or telephoto lens pretty easy. The GPS coordinates of the corner of the parking garage are N36 05 13.1 W115 08 55.0, while the Janet terminal is around N36 05 36.1 W115 09 53.3. Obviously your GPS won’t work in the garage, so the coordinates are just for reference. All parking levels but the top (duh) will give you some shade. The 5th floor is certainly high enough to get a good unobstructed view.
It is suggested that you take at least a 400mm lens and a good tripod if you are hoping to get good shots of the JANET planes.
LazyGRanch.com amazing page on JANET Flights.
View some more great photos from the SR-71 page