L.A. wants a fair price for L.A/Ontario International Airport, which it has operated since 1967. Staff file photo.
Los Angeles must receive a fair price in order to sell L.A/Ontario International Airport to Ontario, the president of L.A. Board of Airport Commissioners said today in a statement.
“LAWA is willing to consider a transfer of ONT to a qualified entity representing the cities and counties in the service area of the airport,” commission president Sean Burton said. “However, LAWA will only consider such a transfer in exchange for fair compensation for assets transferred and reasonable protections for airport workers, including City of Los Angeles employees.”
Regular readers know that L.A. and Ontario told a judge on Wednesday that they failed to reach a settlement during the roughly two month break in their lawsuit. Ontario had filed suit against Los Angeles in June, accusing L.A. of mismanaging the airport. L.A. has operated the Ontario field since 1967 and Ontario wants it back.
This is a very important issue for Ontario politicians and voters, who are concerned that that Ontario airport had fewer than 4 million passengers in 2013 for the first time in nearly 30 years. I don’t hear much about the issue, however, from anyone in L.A.
We’ll have more about Ontario’s lawsuit as it moves forward. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Noon, Wednesday. As expected, lawyers for Ontario told a judge this morning that they will proceed with their lawsuit after they failed to reach a deal with Los Angeles. “LA only cares about building up LAX and is watching as Ontario continues its demise,” attorney Roy Goldberg, who represents Ontario, said afterward. My colleagues Grace Wong and Liset Marquez are on the story and will update all day.
Los Angeles and Ontario will tell a judge Wednesday that they have not reached a deal to transfer control of L.A/Ontario International Airport to the city of Ontario, a source familiar with the matter told me tonight.
The sides had put the lawsuit on hold in early December in hopes that they could reach a settlement. But as my colleague Liset Marquez reported over the weekend, it was never clear how seriously or often the sides were working to reach a deal. Now, my source said, the lawsuit filed by Ontario against Los Angeles will proceed.
Ontario filed suit in state court in June in an attempt to wrest control of the airport from Los Angeles, which has operated since 1967 under agreement between the two entities. Ontario says Los Angeles has breached the contract by failing to properly market the airport and failing to bring in and retain service there. Ontario say it can do a better job operating the facility.
Los Angeles has countered that the market nationwide for airports similar to Ontario is weak, as airlines have retrenched into larger urban airports where they feel they can make more money. Los Angeles has signaled it might be willing to turn over control of Ontario’s airport, but only at a fair price.
Last year, Ontario served about 3.9 million passengers — fewer than it has served in any year since 1985.
Can better communication between Ontario and Los Angeles leaders save L.A./Ontario International Airport? Staff file photo.
On Thursday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked Los Angeles to play nice with Ontario on the issue of L.A./Ontario International Airport. But does the letter she sent to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti make any sense?
Mexican discount airline Volaris plans to start twice weekly service from Guadalajara to L.A./Ontario International Airport, confirming an L.A. Airspace report from September, when we discovered the carrier’s application with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
This is somewhat big news for Ontario, which has been steadily losing passenger traffic in the past five years. But it actually does not give the airport a new destination. Aeromexico is already flying daily to Guadalajara.
Ontario is the seventh California destination for Volaris. It joins Los Angeles, Oakland/San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Fresno and Sacramento in the carrier’s route network.
Here’s the schedule:
- Guadalajara, Jalisco – Ontario, California. (Starting April 12th. Wednesday and Saturday) Departing from Guadalajara at 22:40 hrs., arriving to Ontario at 00:05 hrs
- Ontario – Guadalajara, (Starting April 13th. Thursday and Sunday) Departing from Ontario at 01:20 hrs., arriving to Guadalajara at 06:45 hrs
Traffic at L.A./Ontario International Airport east of Los Angeles fell again in October, with the airport attracting only 334,385 passengers, a decline of 9 percent from the same month the previous year. This continues a painful declines for the outlying airport, which has lost more than 40 percent of its traffic since 2007. And there’s not much hope, at least for the near term.
But another airport operated by the city of Los Angeles – -Los Angeles International Airport — did much better. It processed 5,515,805 passengers in October, up 6.25 percent from Oct. 2012. Both international and domestic traffic rose. So far for the year, LAX traffic is up almost 5 percent compared to 2012.
Love data? Here are some links to the reports on both airports. Beware: Each is frighteningly detailed.
Lax Oct13 Traffic Reports-Fytd
Ont Oct13 Traffic Reports-Fytd