By Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 08/07/15 – 8:31 PM PDT |
ONTARIO >> The transfer of L.A./Ontario International Airport ownership bodes well for efforts to regionalize Southern California aviation, say officials and supporters of local control of ONT.
Regionalization efforts got underway nearly a decade ago after a 2006 court settlement called for air passenger traffic at LAX to be more evenly distributed to other airports in the region.
Regionalization also refers to a situation in which all of Southern California’s airports are operating at maximum, said John Husing, chief economist for the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, and a long-time advocate for local control of ONT.
“The regionalization of airports would be to have all of the various airports handling all of the passengers who emanate from the region around them,” Husing said.
Husing said increasing passenger traffic at San Bernardino International Airport had been part of this regional forecast. As passenger traffic at ONT was expected to increase in the coming decades, SBIA would have handled the spillover demand for airline service.
“In the long-term regional plan, what we anticipated seeing was as ONT reached capacity, then you would start to see SBIA playing a role,” Husing said.
Representatives of SBIA could not be reached immediately for comment.
Husing said he believed Los Angeles World Airports, the L.A. agency overseeing operations at Los Angeles International Airport, ONT and Van Nuys Airport, had deliberately focused on LAX, while allowing business at ONT to decline.
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