Built on the former the site of the former Norton Air Force Base, San Bernardino International Airport is often described by local officials as one of the East Valley’s best hopes for economic growth. Norton closed in 1994. (Staff file photo)

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 08/11/15 – 12:36 PM PDT |

With ownership of LA/Ontario International Airport now being turned over to the city of Ontario, operations at San Bernardino International Airport, which for years has struggled to land a commercial airline and shape its identity, should not be negatively impacted, officials said.

“I don’t see anything but a positive outlook for all of our transportation facilities here in the Inland Empire,” said Mike Burrows, executive director of SBIA.

On Thursday, officials from Los Angeles and Ontario announced that a tentative agreement had been reached for Los Angeles turning ownership of the airport over to Ontario. The process will take about a year and comes at a cost of $250 million.

As Ontario resumed local control of the airport and begins work on trying to ramp up passenger air travel, San Bernardino International will continue establishing itself as a premier airport in the areas of aircraft maintenance, general aviation, and fixed-based operators, Burrows said.

Aside from its existing aircraft maintenance company leasers including Aero Pro, two other companies signed leases this year and are now doing business at the airport — Unical Aviation, Inc. and Stratus Aviation Services, Burrows said. In addition, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s aviation hangar and administrative building and 30 general aviation hangars are under construction and on schedule for completion by early next year, he said.

“We’re feeling good about our airport,” Burrows said.

But the airport still hasn’t landed a commercial passenger airline, and SBIA has considered marketing air travel to and from Mexico for the region’s high Latino populace, so much so that in February last year it unveiled its $20.5 million international arrivals terminal.

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