LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The debate seems to be far from over when it comes to people's support for the renaming of McCarran International Airport to Harry Reid International Airport.
An online petition has more than 21,000 signatures as of Thursday morning from those who would rather not see the former Nevada senator's name on the famed airport.
Instead, Rocco Sant, who started the petition, says to take politics out and to rename the airport the Las Vegas International Airport - the least controversial name of the city in which the airport is located.
The Clark County Commission unanimously signed off on renaming McCarran International Airport to Harry Reid International Airport back in February with a pending request to be submitted to the FAA.
The airport, located next to the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, is arguably one of the most prominent places in Southern Nevada. It was named in 1948 after political powerhouse Nevada Sen. Patrick McCarran.
Sen. McCarran represented Nevada from 1933 until his death in 1954 in Washington D.C.
During his time in public office, he was considered one of the biggest supporters of aviation, which was still getting off the ground in the 1930s, and sponsored key legislation that helped shape the modern air travel industry.
However, his legacy has been criticized by some, including current Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom, who says it was characterized by racism, xenophobia, and antisemitism.
Segerblom says costs related to the change, which were initially estimated at about $2 million, will be paid for by private contributions and not taxpayer money.
In February, Former Sen. Reid expressed "deep gratitude" towards renaming the Las Vegas airport in his honor.
Currently, Sant's petition is urging supporters to sign before the FAA and the Board of Commissioners certify the decision on March 16.