Snag Renaming Las Vegas Airport For Harry Reid Shows Everything That’s Wrong With The FAA

The Clark County, Nevada Board of Commissioners voted to rename the Las Vegas airport after former Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. There were concerns that Pat McCarren, the Democrat whom the airport is currently named after, had a history of racism.

Ultimately I’m not sure how much the airport name matters. No one is changing the airport code. Does anyone even call Atlanta’s airport Hartsfield–Jackson? And how many of you know who those people were without Googling?

This is a very minor issue to most people – but it’s a big deal at the FAA. All the paperwork was submitted to the FAA seeking permission to change the name of the airport, but the paperwork got kicked back.

  • When a member of the commission moved the name change on February 16th, which passed unanimously, they didn’t specifically mention a “resolutions supporting the name change” (“Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick referenced a resolution, but Segerblom’s actual motion did not”)

  • So the County now waits until its April 6th meeting to make a motion to amend the February 16th minutes. Then they’ll send a letter to the FAA, and wait four to six months.

The FAA doesn’t even have authority over the name, but won’t recognize the change until they’ve made paperwork adjustments. And they won’t make those adjustments until the Clark County Commission adjusts its own paperwork. And waits.

By the way you didn’t think airlines were allowed to just give out hand sanitizer to passengers during a pandemic, did you?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Wierd== Harry “end the filibuster” Reid international airport ===does not roll off the tongue

  2. This nonsense is why some people aren’t super excited about growing government and feeding it with more money. Or at least shows a healthy level of skepticism towards moving in that direction. Same goes no matter who is in charge!

  3. Personal story on the name of an airport. When I put my bags down in Indianapolis at the counter the agent said where are you going. I said Reagan. Oh you’re conservative he said. The others say National. Still a friendly pent up fight in DC amongst the locals

  4. The US government is so awful. There is so much red-tape, so much hassle to do anything.

    It’s no wonder we’re being overtaken by so many other countries.
    Having not lived in the US for the last 9 months, I wonder why I would go back.

    Everyone else is moving faster. We keep falling behind with dogmatic time wasting garbage like this.

  5. Dear GOD..Gary Leff sure likes those POLITICAL bent to stories.Gary Just focus on travel and PLEASE DON’T INTERJECT POLITICS.
    Aside from that comment, Harry Reid is STILL A CROOKED POLITICIAN, kind of fits in with the crooked start of Las Vegas. .Once a crook- and Clark county residences know it- always a crook.

  6. If they have to rename LAS, they should rename it after Chumlee. Everyone loves him.

  7. They should have just added Reid’s name if they wanted so badly to have the name like they did in Atlanta.

    I think Reid is not so good as to have the airport named after him. I’d rather the airport be named after the late Siegfreid and Roy.

  8. It’s a touchy issue revising place names because they honor folks who do not meet modern standards. Renaming Lake Calhoun, MN, near where I live may make some sense. They guy was a vicious racist who’s prominent in the history books . But until this came up McCarren was pretty well forgotten. He seems to have been a mixed bag, with some positives and some glaring negatives, so perhaps this can be argued either way.

    But again, where do we stop? And do we run the danger of the renamings occurring frequently, as they did under the Soviet Union as this or that person fell in or out of favor? It’s a bit like tearing down the Columbus statue, which also happened in my state, or taking “Providence Plantations” off Rhode Island’s name even though the “plantations” there had zero to do with Southern slavery. It seems like there should be a balance here between being respectful and sensitive but not “correct” for its own sake.

    That said I do have a personal wish that Reagan’s name be taken off the airport. believing that he and his buddies did a lot of damage to this country. But I guess the history books will decide.

  9. Why use a political figure for airport naming? Why not use the name of a famous Indian. Like “Harry One-Eye?”

  10. There are many things the feds “do not have authority over” which they take control of anyway. Through a wide variety of means. The 10th amendment died a long time ago.

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