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Funds in place to begin name change to Harry Reid International Airport |

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Funds in place to begin name change to Harry Reid International Airport

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- Although there's no decision on when officials will rebrand it the Harry Reid International Airport, the first fund-raising threshhold in the airport name conversion has been met, according to Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom.

County officials approved the name change on Feb. 16, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) signed off on the change in June.

But all the approvals happened with the stipulation that private fund-raising would have to pay for the change from the 50-year-old name McCarran International Airport.

Segerblom confirmed to 8NewsNow that $4.2 million has now been raised to proceed with the change, meeting the requirement to begin the first phase.

The money is in an account set up by Clark County to receive donations for renaming the airport.

The name honors the long-time Democratic U.S. senator from Nevada, who served as U.S. Senate Majority Leader during Barack Obama's presidency.

The initiative to remove the McCarran name came as officials acknowledged a history of racism involving U.S. Sen. Pat McCarran, who served from 1933 to 1954. He was also a Nevada Supreme Court justice from 1913 to 1919, serving as chief justice from 1917-1919. His national legacy includes restrictive quotas on immigration. He was also among the few Democratic opponents of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "Second New Deal."

The first phase will pay for signs outside the airport. Officials have not said when and where the first signs will go up.

Phases two and three will require another $2.8 million, which will pay for sign changeovers inside the airport, as well as new stationery, letterhead and business cards.