ONTARIO, Calif. (Nov. 1, 2016) -Mayor Eric Garcetti and Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) President and Ontario City Council Member Alan D. Wapner today announced that ownership of Ontario International Airport (ONT) has officially transferred from Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA).
The announcement comes after more than four years of collaboration between leaders across the L.A. region to transition the airport to local control. The transfer became official after final approval and issuance of an Airport Operating Certificate earlier today by the Federal Aviation Administration and the defeasance by the OIAA of $55.5 million in outstanding bonds issued by LAWA.
The transfer process began on August 6, 2015, with the announcement that the cities of Los Angeles and Ontario had agreed to a settlement of litigation over management of ONT. The settlement included terms to allow the transfer of ownership of ONT to the OIAA subject to approvals by the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners, Los Angeles City Council, Ontario City Council, the OIAA, and the Federal Aviation Administration. Final approvals by all parties were obtained early this year. Since then, all stakeholders have worked cooperatively in collaboration with the FAA to complete the transaction.
Alan D. Wapner, OIAA President and Ontario City Council Member, heralded the transfer as a major step forward in regional cooperation that will help ensure Southern California has the sufficient airport capacity to meet the growing demand for air service.
“The OIAA is honored and proud to assume control and operation of ONT on behalf of the coalition of counties and cities that supported local control for ONT over a number of years,” said Wapner. “We are grateful to Mayor Garcetti and LAWA CEO Deborah Flint for their commitment to airport regionalization that has made this historic day a reality.”
Mayor Garcetti – who has made regional collaboration a top priority for his administration – also celebrated the milestone as a significant step forward for air travel, improving air quality, and connectivity across the region.
“Southern California is more than just a group of cities and communities – we are one region, and there’s no limit to what we can accomplish when we work together,” said Mayor Garcetti. “I have supported this transfer of Ontario International Airport to local control since I came into office, because nothing is more important than doing what’s right for the travelers, workers, and neighborhood residents who want improved air travel, better connectivity, and local oversight. I’m pleased by the cooperation and partnership that brought us to this day, and proud to celebrate this incredible milestone.”
“Transferring Ontario International Airport was a historic process requiring tremendous cooperation, teamwork and collaboration,” said LAWA Executive Director Deborah Flint. “I’m proud of the work that was done by ONT staff, the OIAA and FAA officials, and am grateful to all of the airport staff, airlines, tenants, local businesses, community leaders, and travelers who have supported ONT while under LAWA’s care for nearly 50 years.”
OIAA CEO Kelly J. Fredericks said, “Although a relative newcomer to the ONT transfer process, I have been afforded a front row and behind the scenes view of the efforts made to make this historic transaction take place. Never in my career have I seen such collaboration and cooperation by so many people, all with a single goal of returning ONT to local control.”
(source: Supervisor Curt Hagman press release)