LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — For more than 50 years, it’s been known as McCarran International Airport but Clark County Commissioners just approved renaming McCarran to Harry Reid International Airport in a 7-0 vote.

The all-Democratic Clark County Commission approved a measure Tuesday directing the county’s airport staff to file a change with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The airport has grown significantly since it was named after former Senator Patrick McCarran who helped get it built. Critics of McCarran, who represented Nevada for 20 years starting in the 1930s, say he had history of racism. At one point, Nevada’s congressional delegation even asked to have his statue removed from the Capitol building.

County Commissioner Tick Segerblom was behind this latest move to strip McCarran’s name from the airport.

“When we come out of this pandemic, Las Vegas is going to be seen as a new city. A lot of people around the world who have never been here will come here. Everyone wants to come. The fact that we’re going to have a new name for the airport kind of fits into that whole — this is a new Nevada, a new day in history,” he said.

The FAA would have to sign off on the plan.

Commissioner Segerblom said private donations will be needed to pay for the name change which would cost around $2 million.


This morning, during the same Clark County Commissioner’s meeting, local band “Mariachi Joya from Las Vegas High School” were recognized for their performance at the Presidential Inauguration several weeks ago.