LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Harry Reid International Airport or Las Vegas International Airport? More than 18,000 people prefer the latter, according to a petition on Change.org.
The decision to rename McCarran International Airport to honor former Nevada Senator Harry Reid was unanimously approved by the Clark County Commissioners last month.
The petition, with a goal of 25,000 signatures, shows that more than 18,000 people are now calling for county leaders to put aside politics and name the airport after the city.
“Let’s take politics and people out of it,” the description under the growing petition reads.
“The least controversial name would be that of the city in which the airport is located,” said Rocco Sant, the man who started the Change.org petition last week. “To designate an airport to someone who is alive and a politician is just a political stunt.”
For more than 50 years, the airport has honored 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 a history of racism and anti-Semitism.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak supports renaming the airport after Reid, who has long been the target of Republican criticism in rural parts of the state.
Airport officials estimate it will cost between $5 million to $7 million to rename the airport. The commission’s vote calls for the name change to be paid for entirely with private donations.
The Federal Aviation Administration still needs to sign off on the county’s approved plan.