Las Vegas airport renamed to honor Harry Reid

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A Las Vegas airport has been renamed to honor former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Dignitaries held a ceremony on Tuesday to commemorate the renaming of McCarran International Airport to the Harry Reid International Airport.

Reid, who represented Nevada in the Senate for three decades, said it was “the greatest of honors to have my name on this airport.”

“For my whole life I’ve been coming and going from McCarran Airport, since the first time I ever got on a plane, back in 1958. This airport has been my gateway to the world,” he said in a statement.

“During my 35 years in Washington, I was here a lot. Home means Nevada, and for me, the airport long ago became synonymous with home,” he added.

A ceremony was held at the airport’s Terminal 3 to celebrate the official name change, according to the Las Vegas Sun. The rebranding is being entirely covered by donations, according to Reid.

The former senator and his wife, Landra Gould, did not attend the ceremony in person because of COVID-19, according to a statement from his office cited by the newspaper.

Reid was instrumental in helping the airport complete construction on Terminal 3, which opened in 2012, according to the Sun. Many worried that the $2.4 billion expansion would not be completed because work was underway during the Great Recession.

Reid sponsored the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 stimulus bill, which had a tax provision written into it that permitted the airport to continue building the terminal, the Sun reported. 

Clark County Director of Aviation Rosemary Vassiliadis said the legislation helped safeguard a number of jobs and salvage millions of dollars in debt service costs, according to the newspaper.

Reid also reportedly played a role in obtaining funding for the airport’s $111 million air traffic control venture, which was finished five years ago.

“The airport is a very special place to me,” Reid said in his statement, reflecting on the work he did in Congress to bolster the facility.

“It is an outstanding facility, a world class international transportation hub. It is the indispensable ingredient to Las Vegas’ success; it is the gateway through which millions come from every corner of the world to see our city, which is like no other place on earth,” he added.

The airport was previously named after late aviation advocate and Sen. Pat McCarran (D-Nev.), who has faced criticism for racist and antisemitic remarks, according to the Sun.

Tags Harry Reid Las Vegas McCarran International Airport Nevada pat mccarran Terminal 3

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