Liset Marquez, Staff Writer
Posted: 09/24/2012 09:17:16 PM PDT
Updated: 09/24/2012 10:04:20 PM PDT

ONTARIO – The case for local control of L.A./Ontario International Airport, and its economic importance to the region, will be heard at a special congressional hearing on Thursday at City Hall.

Led by Rep. Tom Petri, R-Wisc., the Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on aviation will hold a hearing that will feature testimony from prominent politicians, including Los Angeles Councilman Dennis Zine and Los Angeles City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana, who released a report on Friday urging his city to continue negotiations with Ontario for the potential transfer of ONT.

“Ontario airport is a vital element of the aviation network in Southern California, supporting thousands of jobs in the region and serving millions of air passengers each year,” said Rep. Gary Miller, R-Brea, a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, who requested the hearing.

Among those also expected to speak to the panel are several members of the multijurisdictional Ontario International Airport Authority.

Ontario Councilman Alan Wapner, the city’s liaison on the issue, said the purpose of the hearing isn’t to take any action at this time.

Wapner said Miller asked to convene the meeting in an effort to provide background information and the latest developments surrounding the airport for elected politicians.

“Miller and the committee members understand the importance of Ontario airport, both economically and to the federal aviation system,” said Wapner, who also sits on the Ontario International Airport Authority.

News of the hearing comes after a report was released on Friday, after months of delay, in Ontario’s favor.

For the first time in the multiyear battle, Los Angeles officials have appeared to drop their opposition to Ontario’s request for local control and instead have been more open to discussions.

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