Liset Marquez, Staff Writer
Posted: 11/05/2012 11:57:06 AM PST
Updated: 11/06/2012 01:07:45 AM PST

ONTARIO – The mostly empty terminals and parking lots say it all – passengers are no longer flocking to L.A./Ontario International.

A report provided to the recently created Ontario International Airport Authority indicates that trend is expected to continue at least through spring 2013.

Addressing authority members on Monday morning, Robert Hazel of Oliver Wyman, a global management consulting firm, discussed ONT’s performance and expectations in the years ahead.

Passenger traffic in 2012 is estimated to total 4.2 million, a 5.5 percent drop from 2011, Hazel said. That’s the same number of passengers who went through ONT in 1986.

According to flight schedules through April, ONT will also have 6 percent fewer seats on flights than in the previous year.

At least one reason for the difference is the number of departures from ONT. There were an average of 111 departures each day in 2005, but there are only about 59 now, Hazel said.

“I think we will continue to lose traffic until something is done to change that,” Hazel said to authority members.

The struggles have led to an effort by Ontario officials to regain control of the airport from its owner and operator, Los Angeles World Airports. LAWA also operates Los Angeles International and Van Nuys airports.

The Los Angeles City Council in October gave its final approval to a plan to negotiate the transfer of ONT to a new regional authority.

The Ontario International Airport Authority was set up to manage ONT if it went to local control. Monday was the group’s second meeting.

Hazel said ONT has suffered more in the down economy than similar airports. The airport lost 37 percent of its passenger traffic from 2007 to 2011. The average airport of its size lost 12.7 percent.

Hazel said most Southern California airports have started to see their passenger traffic figures increase.

ONT and Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport are the only exceptions and are both projected to lose passengers this year, Hazel said.

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