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McCarran could be rebranded to Harry Reid airport by year’s end

Renaming McCarran International Airport for former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid could be completed by year’s end.

That’s according to Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom, who spearheaded the move to get a vote on renaming Las Vegas’ airport. County commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the name change this year, and that plan could soon move into motion.

“Without trying to predict anything … but by the first of September, we’re going to be Harry Reid airport,” Segerblom said.

The commission’s approval came with a stipulation that no taxpayer money be used toward the initiative. The county then opened an account so interested parties could donate to cover those costs.

McCarran spokesman Joe Rajchel said it will cost an estimated $7 million to change the airport’s name.

Once the county raises $4.2 million, the major work to replace signage at McCarran can begin.

“When the Clark County commissioners voted on this name change they stipulated that all associated costs must be covered by private funds,” Rajchel said. “These monies must be collected and then received in a formal action by the Clark County Commissioners before any work commences.”

As of Friday, the fund had only one donation — a $1 million contribution by Las Vegas businessman Stephen Cloobeck. Despite that, Segerblom said he’s confident the needed money will be there when the work can begin.

“I can say that we have people who have a couple million more dollars that have been identified in commitments,” Segerblom said. “It’s a ‘why give the money today, as opposed to tomorrow’ kind of thing. Everyone has been identified and are waiting for the FAA.”

An update on the donation account is expected to be heard at Tuesday’s commission meeting.

The Federal Aviation Administration had to update various documents and records to reflect the changing name. That work was completed last month, according to the agency.

“The information you provided dated April 8, 2021, requesting to change the name of McCarran International Airport to Harry Reid International Airport has finished the necessary processing steps,” FAA manager Mike Williams wrote in a letter to McCarran director Rosemary Vassiliadis dated June 23.

“The requested change has been published in the various flight charting and navigation databases effective June 17, 2021. The database for processing of Airport Improvement Program grants has also been updated,” he wrote.

Williams went on to remind Vassiliadis that Clark County still had to update various regulatory documents, such as the airport certification manual, airport emergency and airport security program documents. Once they are updated, airport officials must submit them to the FAA for review and approval.

Rajchel said those documents will be updated but didn’t provide a timeline.

Showing how just far along the renaming move is, Williams addressed his letter to Vassiliadis and Harry Reid International Airport — not McCarran — and ended the correspondence using the updated name.

“We look forward to continue working with you and everyone associated with the Harry Reid International Airport,” Williams wrote.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter. Send questions and comments to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com.

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