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By Liset Marquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 01/05/15, 7:38 PM PST | Updated: 19 secs ago

ONTARIO >> The decline in air service at LA/Ontario International Airport has resulted in a $2.6 billion loss on the region’s economy since 2010.

Al Boling, interim executive director of Ontario International Airport Authority, offered that information to the five-member commission at its monthly meeting Monday. According to the economic report, $661 million in economic activity alone was lost in 2014 compared to 2007 – the height of passenger traffic at ONT.

“Based on the results of a standard aviation economic impact model, the loss of air service at ONT over the past seven years has had a huge negative impact on the region’s economy,” said Boling in a statement.

The region has lost $500 million a year in economic activity, for the past four years, due to a drop in air service, he said.

Following six consecutive years of decline, passenger traffic at ONT has been trending up for most of 2014, according to figures through November released by Los Angeles World Airports.

In November, ONT handled 3.4 percent more traffic than the same month in 2013. ONT traffic increased 4 percent from January through November, compared to the same 11 months in 2013.

“We expect December will show growth, and we will continue our work into 2015 to manage costs and keep the airport in a good, competitive position for our airline partners,” Jess Romo, ONT airport manager, said in a statement.

But total of 3.7 million travelers in 2014, which don’t include December totals, still falls short of the 7.2 million passengers that traveled in and out of the airport in 2007.

And that downturn in traffic resulted in 10,700 fewer jobs in 2014, Boling stated.

Officials calculated the figure by measuring the jobs lost at the airport, as well as what visitors would have spent and then considered what those financial losses would have generated in economic activity.

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