Inland Empire News

Ontario seeks control of LA-owned airport

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's no secret that LA/Ontario International Airport has been struggling financially for years, with more and more airlines pulling out and moving to larger cities.

For travelers, that means flights out of the Los Angeles-owned Ontario airport are getting pricey.

Ontario City Councilman Alan Wapner said if local governments were to buy the airport, they could do a better job running it.

"Local control is in the best interest of the entire region," Wapner said. "We certainly have a vested interest in the future of Ontario International Airport, more so than the folks in Los Angeles do."

Still, if a sale were to go through, airport manager Jess Romo, who works for Los Angeles World Airports, says that would mean Ontario might have to find another way to pay for many key services.

"Whether it's legal, environmental, human resources, engineering and planning, those are types of things that if you don't have them at each airport, you can save money by leveraging them and use staff that are located at one physical location," Romo said.

Whether or not there is an agreement for the airport to be sold, before there is a sale, there has to be an agreement when it comes to price. A recent report estimated the value of the airport somewhere between $243 million and $605 million - that's a pretty wide range.

"Our offer was about a $250 million offer, it was initially rejected by the city of Los Angeles, but at least it provides us with a starting point where we can further our negotiations," Wapner said.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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airport news, inland empire news, rob mcmillan
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