John Husing

Husing

By Liset Marquez
liset.marquez@ inlandnewspapers.com @DBOntarioNow on Twitter
Posted: 04/18/2013 07:20:56 PM PDT
Updated: 04/18/2013 09:15:38 PM PDT

Special Section: ONT

ONTARIO — Inland Empire economist John Husing is not backing down from his harsh criticism of Los Angeles World Airports – the agency that operates L.A./Ontario International Airport – saying Thursday LAWA has deliberately run operations at the midsize airport down to the ground.

On Wednesday, at a forum on the Inland Empire’s economy, Husing left no doubt how he felt about LAWA’s handling of ONT, saying “LAWA can go to hell.”

He said Wednesday that airport management, not the economy, is to blame for ONT’s struggles.

In a phone interview on Thursday, the Redlands-based regional economist said LAWA is declaring war on the Inland Empire economy by its lack of response and attention to ONT. The airport has lost 40 percent of its passenger traffic since 2007.

“It’s pretty clear that LAWA and the city of Los Angeles are being unreasonable in trying to set a price on what is a dying airport,” Husing said. “They are trying to stick it to the airport authority. I don’t think they have any intention of letting the Inland Empire delegation get control of the airport – short of litigation or congressional action. ”

Maria Tesoro-Fermin, spokeswoman for LAWA at ONT, refused to respond to Husing’s remarks, except to say “negative criticism and subjective speculation are not productive. ”

LAWA owns and operates ONT as well as Los Angeles International and Van Nuys airports.

Ontario filed a claim against the city of Los Angeles last week seeking to dissolve the 1967 joint-powers agreement that rescued ONT from failure but now is blamed by Ontario officials with strangling the airport’s prospects because, Ontario officials contend, LAWA is putting its resources into Los Angeles International Airport. The Ontario airport was formally transferred to L.A. in 1985.

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