By Associated Press - Saturday, February 13, 2021

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Two university presidents in Nevada have backed a push to rename McCarran International Airport after former Democratic U.S. Sen. Harry Reid for his decades of contributions to the state.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas President Keith Whitfield and University of Nevada, Reno President Brian Sandoval issued a joint letter in support of changing the name to Harry Reid International Airport, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Friday. The airport’s code would remain LAS.

“We are committed to equity and inclusion, and we stand together against the late Pat McCarran’s legacy of racism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia,” the letter read.

The university presidents’ support follows similar letters made public last week from Democratic U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen and the Nevada State Democratic Party. Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom said the county is expected to consider the name change on Tuesday.

“We’ll have some strong supporters that support changing the name to Harry Reid and I think we’ll have a vote to have the head of the airport contact the Federal Aviation Administration to have the name changed,” Segerblom said.



The FAA does not regulate airport name changes but the agency said it requires “any airport that chooses to change its name to notify the agency.”

If approved, Segerblom expects the name change process to take some time to complete, “probably years.”

“It’s all going to be paid for by donated funds, so we’re going to have to raise the money,” he said, adding that some organizations and citizens are already ready to donate.

He added: “From my perspective if you put Harry Reid’s name on there it shows the world that we are a different Nevada.”

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