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Vegas County Commission Wants to Rename McCarran for Who?

Las Vegas McCarran International Airport could be getting a new name, if the Federal Aviation Administration agrees to the proposal. The Clark County Commission unanimously voted to request the name be changed to honor former U.S. Senator Harry Reid, replacing the honor given to former U.S. Senator Pat McCarran.

Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) may ultimately be named after another U.S. senator from the Silver State, if the Clark County Commission gets their way. ABC affiliate KNTV-TV reports the governmental board unanimously voted to change the name to Harry Reid International Airport, in honor of the former senate majority leader.

Commission Votes to Shift Naming Honors from One Senator to Another

The original McCarran Airfield was established in 1941, after Sen. Pat McCarran of Nevada helped secure land that would become not only the Las Vegas area’s first airport, but an Army Air Corps gunnery school. In 1948, the former Alamo Field – the current location of LAS – would again be renamed for the senator.

For over 70 years, Southern Nevada’s primary air terminal kept the late senator’s name. McCarran ultimately died in office on Sept. 28, 1954, from a heart attack suffered after a political rally. Although McCarran has been a long-standing name, the public has moved for the change based on his voting record. During his time in the Senate, McCarran sponsored a bill to exempt the insurance industry from federal regulation, sided with Joe McCarthy in his anti-communism campaign, and sponsored the McCarran-Walter Act, which would have tightened immigration and deportation laws.

Harry Reid represented Nevada in the senior chamber for 30 years, first elected to the office in 1986. He would ultimately become the Senate Majority Leader during the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. When the senate flipped to a Republican majority, Reid became the minority leader for two years, before endorsing current majority leader Chuck Schumer for the job. Prior to winning the seat, he was the U.S. Representative for the first district, representing Las Vegas from 1982 to 1986. His biggest victory as a legislator may be found in moving the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the Senate, opening health care marketplaces for millions of Americans.

Although Reid is generally seen as a better representative of Las Vegas, his record is not without its own controversy. During his time as a national legislator, he supported an overturn of Roe v. Wade, and opposed same-sex marriage until 2012.

Final Decision Sits with Federal Aviation Administration

Although the Clark County Commission voted unanimously to request the name change, the final decision rests with the Federal Aviation Administration. Under the resolution, the airport director was instructed to write a letter to the FAA formally requesting the change to honor Reid.

Prof_Dr_G March 23, 2021

Harry Reid is a perfect name for a 3rd world airport.

oktoberfest March 3, 2021

I agree. No politician should have his name on anything. There are more than 50 buildings and highways named after former KKK Exalted Cyclops Robert Byrd in WV. Both Clintons, Obama, and our new president Biden praised him as a great person at his funeral. And McCarran is bad because he was in favor of immigration laws?

isle-hawg February 27, 2021

@RUAMKZ When I clicked on the story Elvis Presely is what I thought the new name might be. Wayne Newton perhaps another. Idiotic IMO to change from one politician to the other. The former politician at least had a connection to the airport.

RUAMKZ February 23, 2021

Elvis Presley, perhaps, might have been a better choice??

rljan February 23, 2021

"The people" didn't ask for the name change. Dirty Harry's cronies asked for it. The airport should be named after any politician.