Ontario International Airport

A U.S Airways plane arrives at Ontario International Airport in this 2014 file photo. The airport’s transfer to local authority has been pushed back a month to Nov. 1. (File Photo)

By Liset Márquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 08/16/16 – 8:26 PM PDT |

ONTARIO >> Local ownership of the beleaguered LA/Ontario International Airport will have to wait another month until Nov. 1.

The target date was postponed out of precaution and to ensure the mounds of paperwork associated with the transfer have been properly filed, said Kelly J. Fredericks, CEO of the Ontario International Airport Authority after a Tuesday morning meeting at Ontario City Hall.

“It’s like a chess game and there’s so many dominoes that have to fall in place,” Fredericks said. “Nov. 1 is to give ourselves a little bit of time.”

The authority was expecting to receive Ontario International Airport’s certificate of operation by July 1 and complete the transfer by Oct. 1 but the process was delayed after a piece of legislation, which addressed the necessary funding mechanism for transfer, was delayed in Washington. The bill was finally signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 15.

But before the transfer occurs, the airport authority will bring in representatives of Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings on Aug. 29 and Aug. 30 to evaluate the financial health of the airport. The airport authority is expected to notify Los Angeles World Airports Sept. 1 that it intends to initiate the transfer process to take over ownership.

Commissioner Jim Bowman said he is anxious for the eight-year journey to come to a close.

“Not only is there a light at the end of the tunnel, now there’s a door,” he said.

Details about an event marking the historic milestone have not been discussed, Fredericks said,

“This is a big deal for us and it really starts the transformation,” he said, referring to the Nov. 1 transfer date. “I’m hoping we can strategize with the board and plan a much grander event at the appropriate time.”

Fredericks hinted at the possibility of notable changes at the airport after the transfer but said he couldn’t divulge any details now.

To read expanded article, click here.