Ontario Councilman to Talk Airport Takeover Effort

Councilman Alan Wapner will speak about the Free Ontario movement at tonight's Rowland Heights Community Coordinating Council meeting.

The push by the city of Ontario to regain control of its airport will be the topic at tonight's Rowland Heights Community Coordinating Council.

Guest speaker Alan Wapner, an Ontario city councilman and a former member of the Ontario-Montclair School Board, will discuss the status of the Free Ontario movement. 

Ontario wants to regain ownership of the international airport from the Los Angeles World Airport, which also runs LAX.

Earlier this year, Ontario officials offered Los Angeles a $250 million package, including an initial $50 million payment, to gain transfer control of transfer title and operations of the airport.  Los Angeles World Airports operates Ontario Airport under a joint agreement signed in 1967. That offer was not accepted.

“Under local control, ONT will simultaneously reduce its cost structure and increase its marketing, advertising and promotion spending to provide the airport capacity Southern California needs in the long term to protect its tourism economy,” officials wrote in the airport recovery plan.

Similar sized airports in Burbank, Orange County, Long Beach, and Palm Springs all are operated locally.  Ontario officials have said local control would enable them to run the airport more cost effectively.

In the past four years, the Ontario Airport has lost more than a third of its passenger traffic, which has cost the Inland Empire region $500 million annually and 9,250 jobs, officials reported earlier this year.  The number of domestic and non-stop flights offered at the airport has dropped almost 57 percent since 2007.

Several local cities have come out in support of the Free Ontario effort, including Walnut, Diamond Bar, and the City of Industry.

Besides Wapner's talk, the council will get reports from representatives from local law enforcement agencies and state and county legislators' offices.

The council also requests that those planning to attend the meeting bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to the California Highway Patrol's CHiPs for Kids toy drive.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. tonight at Pathfinder Community Regional Park in Rowland Heights, 18150 Pathfinder Road.


Robert Corona December 10, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Yeah,,, but by the same token... look at Los Angeles... probably the worse run city in the country... the only city in the world that if the parking meter is broken.. You still get a ticket if you park there. etc etc Ontario airport is steadily going in the crapper... what is there to lose? Give someone else a crack at it.. LAX rated the worst airport in the country... or top 3 anyway.. I know,, I have used it quite a bit... its ugly!
JORDANS December 11, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Everyone I know would rather avoid LAX. If only ONT had more flights AND reasonable prices....I would pick ONT over Orange County
Vito Spago December 11, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Yeah. We travel a lot and are at many airports. LAX is a total dump when compared to other world airports. Not sure anyone can fix Ontario, however. With high gas prices, high employee costs, etc, airlines have cut costs to the bone. There is no way they can have cheap flights in and out of Ontario. LAX is the place to fly in and out of unless you like paying more than you have to. Ontario passenger terminals need to be bulldozed and put in a shopping mall. Sorry, but Ontario needs to face facts.
Jim December 25, 2012 at 06:18 AM
Given that the airport is already run by a city, your comment makes no sense.
SPG February 27, 2013 at 07:18 PM
I fly out of Ontario all the time for work & pleasure and I love that airport. In ease of access its right up there with Long Beach. I prefer it to Orange, LAX and Burbank. If there is a community effort to work on it I would be happy to join it. I will definitely contact city council to see where my efforts can be utilized.


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