The Clark County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday voted in favor of renaming McCarran International Airport after Harry Reid, the powerful Democrat who served Nevada in the US Senate for decades, including a stint as majority leader from 2007 to 2015.
In an announcement on Twitter, the commissioners said they “have unanimously approved a resolution requesting the name of @LASairport be changed to Harry Reid Int’l Airport. The request will go to the” Federal Aviation Administration.
The tweet said private contributions would cover costs associated with the name change should the FAA approve it.
Harry Reid was first elected to the US Senate in 1986 and served Nevada for decades.
“I would like to express my deep gratitude to Commissioner [Tick] Segerblom, the entire Clark County Commission, and the many others who have played a part in this renaming.”
The airport is currently named for a different US senator. The late Pat McCarran served in Congress from 1933 to 1954.
KVSN reported that “historians have called McCarran a noted proponent of aviation but also an advocate of xenophobic and anti-Semitic policies during his career, leading several of Nevada’s political leaders to call for changing the name of the airport.”
The news comes as Las Vegas continues to deal the devastating economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
That has hit passenger traffic at the airport hard. Some 22.2 million travelers passed through its gates in 2020, meaning that passenger volume at McCarran fell 56.9% compared with 2019, according to the Clark County Department of Aviation.
Top photo: A plane takes off at McCarran International Airport. Credit: AP Photo/John Locher, File