question-mark

Sunday, February 22, 2015 – 12:30 p.m.

What a shock!

Los Angeles is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit, brought by Ontario, to wrestle away control of LA/Ontario International Airport.

A case that probably never should have been conceived.

A second “Motion for Summary Judgement” has now been filed to jettison the remainder of the case, after Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gloria Connor Trask ruled Ontario was way too late in challenging agreements giving Los Angeles possession of the airport.

The ruling is a major blow to Ontario’s claim. If anything Ontario would have probably been more successful if the lawsuit was designed to enforce the original agreements, not void them entirely.

The interesting question is why are people so shocked that Los Angeles is moving to end the case?

While Ontario has challenged Trask’s tentative ruling, it doesn’t look good for the fledgling Ontario International Airport Authority. The presumptuous cart-before-the horse agency created to assert control over the airport, once it’s taken back from Los Angeles.

If, as Trask has said, the transfer from Ontario to Los Angeles was in-fact a “sale”, the whole battle may rest on the largess, or lack thereof, of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Garcetti has previously stated that he isn’t opposed to an amicable transfer of the airport back to Ontario. But circumstances can always change.

It’s nice that Ontario officials want to blame the decline solely on a “scheme” to plunder the airport, to to the benefit of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). But that argument is specious at best.

One can only imagine a trial where airline execs are called in to explain that they curtailed flights and raised fairs out of Ontario due to the bad economy, not collusion with Los Angeles World Airport (LAWA) officials. Secondly, LAWA will almost certainly compare Ontario’s woes to other regional airports across the nation.

Seller’s remorse may not be enough to help Ontario officials in this battle.

One thing is for certain here. The business of government-suing-government is a big business in the Inland Empire.