SBCO Seal

By Joe Nelson, San Bernardino Sun
Posted: 08/25/13, 8:13 PM PDT |

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will hold a study session to discuss the continuing decline of Ontario International Airport, how the pension system is impacting county finances and litigation the county plans to enter into against Office Depot.

Topics to be discussed in relation to the airport include the latest on attempts to regain local control of the struggling airport, developing a specialized airport work force, the best uses for the airport and marketing strategies.

In June, Ontario sued the city of Los Angeles seeking to regain local control of the airport, alleging the city has neglected and mismanaged the airport. The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that Los Angeles World Airports, or LAWA — which runs LAX — has failed to properly market L.A./Ontario International Airport and abandoned plans to redistribute air traffic throughout the region.

For nearly 50 years, Ontario has had an agreement with LAWA to operate ONT, but is now trying to sever that agreement and take full control.

Since 2007, annual passenger traffic at ONT has dropped by more than 40 percent, from 7.2 million passengers in 2007 to 4.3 million in 2012. Meanwhile, the Inland Empire’s population has grown during the same period, from 4.05 million to 4.29 million, according to data provided to the county by the airport.

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