LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Efforts to rename McCarran International Airport could happen in a vote as early as Tuesday. A Clark County commissioner is pushing to honor former United States Senator Harry Reid. But not everyone is on board with the name change.
“I would not vote to put a senator’s name on an airport because if you think of big international airports like JFK, it’s a big name and a legacy that he leaves behind,” said Sibu Cane, tourist.
The airport’s LAS letter code that the FAA uses to identify the property would remain the same, but if approved, Las Vegas’ airport would go from McCarran International Airport to Harry Reid International Airport.
The rebranding would force a fundraiser to cover the cost of about $2 million.
“I think keeping it to Las Vegas Airport sounds fine,” aid Numo Dias, a tourist. “Why would you want to name it after someone. Personally, it doesn’t really change my day to day life.”
Currently, the airport is named after former U.S. Senator Pat McCarran, who represented Nevada in the 1930s, but a history of antisemitism, xenophobia, and racism has forced one county leader to step up and say that a change needs to be made.
“It’s been talked about before,” said Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom. “Mccarran has been pretty controversial; the delegation asked to remove his statue at the capitol a few years ago. He does not represent Nevada anymore.”
Segerblom recommends renaming the airport to honor Senator Reid.
“He is the best-known person to represent Nevada in history and has done more for Nevada than anyone else in history and represents progress in D.C. that sends a signal,” Segerblom said.
The name change would need to be approved by the FAA.
“If he really did do something good for the state, he should get it,” said Jesus Martinz, a tourist.
Governor Steve Sisolak said in a statement that “Senator Harry Reid has never forgotten who he is or where he came from. He has spent his life and his career lifting up Nevada to what it has become today. He has helped to shape Las Vegas into a world-class tourism destination in a state that celebrates its diversity.