ontario airport

By Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 10/29/16 – 9:34 PM PDT |

ONTARIO >> The city of Los Angeles is set to hand over the reins of power at L.A./Ontario International Airport to its home city at 7 a.m. Tuesday, a year after the transfer was agreed upon by both cities.

Regional officials who championed the hand-over said local control would bring about the needed policies that would increase destinations, traffic and economic growth at the airport and for the surrounding area.

Under the agreement, Ontario International Airport Authority will pay Los Angeles World Airports $50 million from passenger facility charges in the first five years; and another $70 million from passenger facility charges in the final five years.

Local airport authority officials say full control will allow them to finally move forward on plans to redevelop land at the airport. The money generated there will help offset the landing fee costs and — they hope — entice airlines to return and expand flights.

“I’ve been meeting many different groups in the last couple of months both local and not so local, people very interested in the future of the airport, including business operations at the airport,” said airport authority Commissioner Curt Hagman, who also serves as a San Bernardino County supervisor. “Unfortunately, a lot cannot be done until the transfer process is complete.”

Officials say the developments could create new jobs for thousands.

“What it means for the economy is that one of the principal pieces of infrastructure that has been languishing now has the opportunity to be able to contribute fully to the expansion of the region,” said John Husing, chief economist for the Inland Empire Economic Partnership and a longtime champion of local control for ONT. “It could potentially create thousands of jobs over time.”

To mark the transfer, an invite-only ceremony will be held in Terminal 4 at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Expected to attend are Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Federal Aviation Administration administrator Michael Huerta, LAWA CEO Deborah Flint, and local officials and dignitaries from the Ontario City Council and the Ontario International Airport Authority.

LAWA employee Tim Ihle has served as airport manager at ONT for the past eight months to help with the transfer after the departure of former LAWA airport manager Jess Romo, who now oversees Long Beach Airport as its director.

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