weather icon Clear

Petition to rename McCarran to Las Vegas International Airport nears 25,000 signatures

Updated March 9, 2021 - 9:19 pm

An online petition opposing renaming McCarran International Airport for former Sen. Harry Reid has collected more than 28,000 signatures as of Monday.

The petition on change.org’s website proposes the airport be renamed Las Vegas International Airport and not Harry Reid International Airport, as approved unanimously by the Clark County Commission last month.

The petition’s creator, Rocco Sant, wrote the public should be involved in the renaming process and that politics should be taken out of whatever name is chosen.

“I believe it’s the people of Nevada who should decide the name of one of the busiest airports in the world,” Sant said in the petition’s description, which is directed at the Nevada State Senate and Clark County Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick.

Sant, who could not be reached for comment, suggests if they garner enough signatures by March 16 that the Reid name could be reconsidered.

“The FAA and Board of Commissioners certify this decision on March 16th,” Sant wrote. “Time is running out! We must be heard.”

The claim is not factual, as the Federal Aviation Administration doesn’t approve the name change; it just needs the Clark County Department of Aviation’s director to send the name change request along with minutes from the commission meeting when the vote occurred.

Once that request is received, the FAA will update its records and ensure the name change process occurs smoothly with any grants or other processes that are active that might have McCarran’s name listed.

McCarran is in the process of figuring out what the cost of renaming will be, which early estimates peg at between $5 million and $7 million, according to Chris Jones, McCarran spokesman.

As far as the county commission, its vote last month was all that was needed. The March 16 date referred to by Sant is the date of the commission meeting that the minutes from the Feb. 16 meeting will be approved, which is a standard procedure at each commission meeting.

It would take only one commissioner to request the item be brought up again for the renaming to be revisited by the commission, according to Clark County spokesman Erik Pappa.

But County Commissioner Tick Segerblom, who championed the renaming, said the process is still moving forward as planned.

“To my knowledge it’s full speed ahead,” Segerblom said. “Until the FAA process is complete, I guess it could be revisited.”

Segerblom, who requested the renaming be reviewed and ultimately approved, addressed those who think the public should vote on the matter, likening it to several other key items that officials have voted on in the past.

“That’s why you elect people to represent you, it’s not a democracy where everything you do is voted on,” Segerblom said. “I campaigned on this name change when I ran for county commission, I proposed it in the Legislature publicly. It’s not like it came out of the blue. … The fact is when we voted a billion-and-a-half (dollars) for Tesla no one said we need a public vote. When we voted for $750 million for the (Allegiant) stadium, nobody said we need a public vote.

“Politicians make decisions all the time that are huge and that’s what elections are all about.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Early morning fire closes Denny’s restaurant

More than two dozen Denny’s employees are out of work for the time being after a fire broke out early Tuesday morning, May 11.

State AGs urge Facebook not to launch Instagram Kids

A coalition of 44 attorneys general are urging Facebook to abandon its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13. In their letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the attorneys general cited serious concerns about the safety and well-being of children and the harm social media poses to young people.

Eighth batch of Economic Impact Payments disbursed

The Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service announced Wednesday they are disbursing more than 1.1 million payments in the eighth batch of Economic Impact Payments from the American Rescue Plan.

Biologists clearing 3,000-acre desert area of tortoises

A fleet of consulting desert tortoise biologists have been sweeping the 3,000-acre Yellow Pine Solar Project site near Pahrump with shovels to move as many protected desert tortoises out of harm’s way as possible before the site is converted to millions of solar panels, according to the press release by Basin and Range Watch, a nonprofit working to conserve the deserts of Nevada and California.

Nevada organ donor group blasted for VGK, Raiders season tickets

A congressional inquiry into the organ transplant industry criticized the Nevada Donor Network for purchasing the tickets and funding board retreats to California wine country.

Nevada colleges planning COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students

In a course reversal, the Nevada System of Higher Education announced Thursday it is planning to mandate vaccination, with “some limited exceptions” and several contingencies.

Disturbance at bank leads to arrest

A local man allegedly in possession of a dangerous weapon was taken into custody near Bank of America on Monday, May 3, according to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office.