LAS Renamed Harry Reid International Airport

McCarran Field, Las Vegas’ major airport, was renamed McCarran International Airport in 1968 after Nevada Senator Patrick McCarran. After state legislators re-examined McCarran’s heritage of racism and antisemitism, the airport will now be renamed after former Senate majority leader Harry Reid, who went from poverty to the highest rung in U.S. government by any Nevadan.

Visitors to Las Vegas will no longer arrive at McCarran International Airport, which was renamed by the Clark County Commission. The panel unanimously approved the proposal to rename the airport after former Senate majority leader and Nevada native son Harry Reid.

Since 1948, the airport has been known as Patrick McCarran Airport, after the late Senator and fellow Nevadan Patrick McCarran, who served in Congress for more than two decades, including throughout World War II. While a strong supporter of aviation and a co-sponsor of the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938 and the Federal Airport Act of 1945, McCarran’s personal views on racism and overt actions in that regard prompted state legislators to introduce legislation in the state senate in 2017 to remove his name from the airport. The bill was not passed before the conclusion of the legislative session, but it was passed on the second try.

Reid, who was praised for his environmental preservation, served in the Senate for 30 years, beginning in 1987, and was the majority leader from 2007 to 2015.

The airport will keep its LAS designation while the FAA begins work on administrative modifications such as amending aeronautical charts and maps, which could take several months. According to estimates, private contributions will pay the projected $2 million in airport rebranding costs.

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