LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Updating county codes to reflect the name change from McCarran International Airport to Harry Reid International Airport will be on the Clark County Commission’s agenda when they meet Tuesday, Dec. 21, at 10 a.m.
About 50 references to the McCarran name remain in county codes, and the county needs to make updates. The Clark County Commission set the time and date of the public hearing during today’s regular meeting.
It’s one of the final steps in changing the name. An announcement is expected soon on a public event to formally announce the name change.
The commission voted Feb. 16 to approve the new name, and the commission stipulated that private donations would have to pay for the costs in making the change.
Earlier actions leading up to the decision have included a move to raise $4.5 million in donations to pay for the name change. In October, Commissioner Tick Segerblom said $4.2 million was already in place.
During public comment at today’s meeting, resident Daniel Braisted asked if the $4.5 million would pay for all signage changes. He said he posed the question months ago and has not received a response.
In addition to the county’s OK, the Federal Aviation Administration has also cleared the change. “Harry Reid International Airport” has even been seen on some FAA flight maps.
The name honors the long-time Democratic U.S. senator from Nevada, who served as U.S. Senate Majority Leader during Barack Obama’s presidency.
The initiative to remove the McCarran name came as officials acknowledged a history of racism involving U.S. Sen. Pat McCarran, who served from 1933 to 1954. He was also a Nevada Supreme Court justice from 1913 to 1919, serving as chief justice from 1917-1919. His national legacy includes restrictive quotas on immigration. He was also among the few Democratic opponents of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Second New Deal.”
Reid’s tactics as Senate Majority Leader often met with harsh criticism from Republicans.
Reid’s opponents in rural Nevada are particularly vocal. Signs with the message “Will Rogers never met Harry Reid” are a common sight in small towns around the state.