Liset Márquez, Staff Writer
Created: 03/09/2011 08:44:46 PM PST
A presentation recently released by Los Angeles World Airports is critical of the city of Ontario’s proposal to run LA/Ontario International Airport.
A PowerPoint presentation was released to the media for a Board of Airport Commissioners meeting on Monday, although discussion on the issue was postponed until March 21, LAWA officials said.
In the presentation, LAWA casts “doubts about transferring control of ONT to a jurisdiction that has no experience in managing a major commercial airport.”
Ontario officials have been pushing for more than a year to regain control of the ailing airport.
The decline in air service at ONT from 2007 to 2009 has led to a $400 million blow to the Inland Empire’s economy and the loss of more than 8,000 jobs, according to a report released by Ontario in September.
Under Ontario’s proposal given to LAWA on Jan. 12, a regional airport authority would be created to operate ONT. Ontario’s plan also suggests that the management of the authority go to a third party operator.
The PowerPoint presentation said LAWA officials feel there is no “compelling argument” for the Board of Airport Commissioners to cede control of selecting a third party manager to Ontario. It also opposes the notion of reconstituting the Joint Powers Authority, a 40-year-old agreement between the two agencies.
Ontario City Manager Chris Hughes called the information and comment in the LAWA presentation as “unproductive” for ongoing negotiations. Hughes said it was “inappropriate to release confidential information” about Ontario’s proposal, which has not previously been made public.
On Wednesday, LAWA official Mike Molina said the PowerPoint slides were meant to accompany a formal presentation.
“The slides are merely supplementary to the presentation and, on their own, do not portray an complete picture,” said Molina, executive director of external affairs. “This presentation was placed on the agenda following a request by the city of Ontario that we brief our Board on Ontario’s proposal to manage the airport.”
In the presentation to the board, LAWA officials opposed Ontario’s claim that the cost to do business at the airport is the factor in the facility’s drop in traffic.
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