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Vegas County Commission Wants to Rename McCarran for Who?

Vegas County Commission Wants to Rename McCarran for Who?
Joe Cortez

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.

View Comments (31)


  1. Centurion

    February 17, 2021 at 10:25 pm

    You have to love how they forget the past and waste money on the future. So Sad and no disrespect to Sen Reid.

  2. Cotumely

    February 18, 2021 at 4:22 am

    Hopefully it’ll go through. McCarran sounded a particularly nasty piece of work.

  3. arcticflier

    February 18, 2021 at 5:00 am

    “…. and sponsored the McCarran-Walter Act, which would have tightened immigration and deportation laws.”

    God Forbid, we must stand together and Cancel this Man’s Legacy.
    Is it possible we can trace his living ancestors and cancel them from our PC Culture as well?

    I am so thrilled to be a member of this enlightened modern Liberal Age. We put the McCarty Era to shame in our quest to route out Evil.

  4. MSP_Dave

    February 18, 2021 at 5:39 am

    So would it be “Dirty Harry” Reid Airport? Not sure why anyone thinks he deserves an honor like this.

  5. DManzaluni

    February 18, 2021 at 5:51 am

    So there WILL be consequences for all the senators who voted against conviction in the impeachment trials! People DON’T forget these things. Maccaren is still being raked through the coals on his voting record nearly 70 years after he died!

  6. fotographer

    February 18, 2021 at 6:03 am

    stop naming stuff after politicains… they are pubic servants that already have been payed enough ..
    I would call it Area 51 airport

  7. pdisme


    February 18, 2021 at 6:06 am

    I’d love to see a horrible airport named after a horrible senator.

  8. LVFlyer21

    February 18, 2021 at 6:23 am

    Very disappointed to see such an article from a Joe Cortez, usually a good source of accurate and helpful info. Sen. Pat McCarran (note spelling error in title of article) is well known to have been racist, xenophobic, and antisemitic. If the author believes that Sen. McCarran would have been in favor of same sex marriage, think again. The article lacks key details including that the change is supported by countless other statewide and local bodies, including the Governor, the University of Nevada, Reno and UNLV, all of who have issued statements explaining their rationale. The author is also apparently unaware of multitudes of legislative accomplishments by Senator Reid that have helped all Americans and as Majority Leader, whilst he has cherry picked one in particular that is perhaps most personally of interest.
    It would be best for the author to stick to factual reporting and stay out of politics.

  9. hinshaw

    February 18, 2021 at 7:04 am

    You mean the wonderful Harry Reid who ADMITTED he lied when he said he had information that there were years when Mitt Romney didn’t file tax returns. Regardless of you politics, an admitted liar should not have an airport named for him

  10. edgewood49

    February 18, 2021 at 7:28 am

    The “beat goes on” renaming everything in the historical past to suit modern day views. Other than UFO’s what did Reid do one has to ask themselves. I grew up in the DC area and to this day I call Regan National “National”

  11. xlnja

    February 18, 2021 at 8:26 am

    Looks like a totally unnecessary political move…waste of time and money.

  12. Bubby913

    February 18, 2021 at 8:38 am

    Total BS! Las Vegas has become another leftist clown state!

  13. stevensonsfo

    February 18, 2021 at 8:39 am

    The name of an airport, street, school, etc. should not be changed without a vote of the people. We are in an era of pc hysteria in which leaders of the past are unjustly judged by the morals of today by narrow minded bureaucrats.

  14. BC Shelby

    February 18, 2021 at 10:00 am

    …and I expected it might have been Frank Sinatra.

    At least DJT wasn’t suggested.

  15. deadmoneywalking

    February 18, 2021 at 11:23 am

    FYI the head of the gaming board in the film “Casino” was based on Harry Reid.

  16. edgewood49

    February 18, 2021 at 11:53 am

    “Dirty Harry International Airport” sounds good, Go ahead make my day !!

  17. travlr222

    February 18, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    Come on, it should be Bugsy International!


    February 18, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    It’s inappropriate to take away the honor. Find another building to name.

  19. MRM

    February 18, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    So they’re renaming the airport from one terrible Senator’s name to another terrible Senator’s name?

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Who they looking at 70 years from now?


    February 18, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    Actually now I read more about his history it may not be such a bad idea.

  21. JackE

    February 18, 2021 at 7:24 pm

    2021 and the left still hates gays except for the 5 minutes they spend filling out their ballots.

  22. gum

    February 18, 2021 at 10:11 pm

    @pdisme: What would you think about renaming an airport with the most delayed flights and the longest night flight restrictions as Sleepy Joe National Airport? 😉

  23. sukki007

    February 18, 2021 at 11:18 pm

    Though I voted for Harry Reid, I’m not in favor of naming airports after people in general. Our airport, which by the way @pdisme, is a fine airport, should be renamed Las Vegas International Airport. Las Vegas is an iconic name and is recognizable throughout the world. In our divisive culture, choosing any politician is bound to inflame half the populace. And to counter another objection here, this change will be funded by private contributions.

  24. jsintexas

    February 19, 2021 at 7:04 am

    I think they need to rename the airport to Benny Siegel Airport.

    He is the reason Las Vegas is the entertainment and gambling center of the world. Without him Las Vegas would be a little desert town.

  25. closecover

    February 19, 2021 at 7:43 am

    The Ministry of Truth strikes again!

    I never thought George Orwell’s vision that was described in 1984 would ever come to pass. But here we are.

  26. falawa

    February 19, 2021 at 7:52 am

    Hang a bronze plaque by the flag calling it what they may, but name the airport for the town/destination. Las Vegas Int’l

  27. BC Shelby

    February 19, 2021 at 9:44 am

    ….Dirty Harry Airport: “Go ahead, make my connection”

  28. Gizzabreak

    February 19, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    ‘What’s all that about’, I wondered (being half a planet removed from the action). Aha! History being re-written … statue toppling … book burning. Sounds like the proposed replacement ‘statue’ is about to be constructed of the same ‘flame prone’ materials. ‘One step forward, one and a half steps backwards’. The old gramophone record problem … round and round and round in endless circles. Best comment so far appears to be don’t name anything after politicians … wise. Perhaps don’t name anything ‘in honour’ of anyone.

  29. Imstillatravelagent

    February 20, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    Bob Stupak Intl Airport

  30. rljan

    February 23, 2021 at 1:05 pm

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

  31. RUAMKZ

    February 23, 2021 at 2:40 pm

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

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