Our network

FAA documents swap 'McCarran' for 'Harry Reid,' showing potential step forward for airport name change |

Title (Max 100 Characters)

FAA documents swap 'McCarran' for 'Harry Reid,' showing potential step forward for airport name change

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — We may be one step closer to renaming McCarran International Airport.

Some Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight maps and documents are now labeled with "Harry Reid International Airport." The new name, approved by Clark County commissioners in a unanimous vote earlier this year, is in honor of the long-time U.S. Senator from Nevada. But signs at the airport still say "McCarran."

The name change is not 100% official yet, despite the FAA documents already switching to the new name. In a statement, an airport spokesperson said, "The airport has not received formal notification from the FAA's Airports District Office with regard to its findings on the proposed name change."

But for those who support naming the airport after former Sen. Harry Reid, this is an exciting development.

"It looks like somewhere down in the bureaucracy they approved it, but I knew that it actually hasn't officially happened yet," said Tick Segerblom, Clark County Commissioner for District E.

Segerblom, a long-time advocate for the name change, says the letter from the FAA is more of a formality. He says changing the signage at the airport will cost about $4 million -- and it is all through private donations, not taxpayer money.

Tick Segerblom, Clark County Commissioner for District E

"We had one person donate a million dollars," Segerblom. "We have another couple that hopefully it'll be about a million, and then we just have to raise the other million."

Some do not want to name the airport after the Democratic senator -- and they have something else in mind.

"I think if the name is Las Vegas, everybody knows what Vegas is, so Las Vegas Airport is easier for the tourists," said visitor Grigori Durarte.

Tourist Denise Flosi added, "Everybody around the world knows Las Vegas, so Las Vegas is [easier]."

But Segerblom says "Harry Reid International Airport" is a done deal.

"It's going to happen," Segerblom said.

Segerblom adds that he has one main mission.

"My goal was to honor Senator Reid, I think he's the most important Nevadan ever, but to also have him see us honor him," Segerblom said. "So often, people after they're gone, we say, 'Oh gee, let's name the airport after them,' but they never get to know that," Segerblom said.

Because the FAA has not officially approved the new name yet, the timeline for changing the signs is still unclear. But Segerblom says he hopes to have a ceremony at the airport with Sen. Reid by the end of this summer.