Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, is one of the more polarizing public figures in Southern California.
Her core staff seems to love her and consistently cites her chief accomplishments, like overseeing the new $1.9 billion international terminal at Los Angeles International and presiding over impressive upgrades at Terminals 5 and 6. They note that the airport was essentially stuck in a time warp between 1984 and when she took over in 2007.
But Lindsey has plenty of detractors, especially residents living near LAX, who say she hasn’t listened to their concerns, and politicians in Ontario, who say she has mismanaged L.A/Ontario International Airport.
It is against this backdrop that Lindsey has signaled her desire to stay on the job under new Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti. Last week, she sent a memo to the mayor outlining why she believes she should get to stay on.
Read Lindsey’s memo here: LAWA – Mission Achievements and Goals 2013
A spokeswoman for the mayor said it will be at least two months before Garcetti decides which city department heads get to stay. Many will be watching carefully to see what he decides.
What about you? Do you think Lindsey should stay? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Considering the number of films and TV show shot in Los Angeles, you’d think the operator of three of the region’s airports would be making big money off of film production.
But that does not appear to be the case. Data shared Tuesday with the Los Angeles Airport Commission shows Los Angeles World Airports, which runs LAX, Ontario International Airport and Van Nuys Airport, has recovered only about $3 million in fees during the past three and a half years.
LAWA has been waiving permit fees since 2006, which is part of the reason the amount is relatively low. But the airport authority still recovers fees for things like facility rental and trailer parking. At Ontario, it even rents out a Boeing 727 airframe for filming. According to the airport operator, most fees have not risen in almost 20 years.
The report suggests LAWA staff is considering raising fees for most productions. Under the proposal, the fee for filming inside most facilities would rise from $50 per day to $400 per day. The fee for filming on airport ramps would rise from $300 per day to $400 per day.
Here is what LAWA has recovered in filming fees at each of its airports in the past four fiscal years:
Airport 2010 2011 2012 2013 (Through Feb.)
LAX $315,659 $385,450 $118,830 $109,774
ONT $136,554 $651,201 $499,468 $516,943
VNY $119,017 $145,200 $80,400 $34,846.60
In May, about a month before Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa left office, he led a trade delegation to China. Now some of the the bills from that trip are becoming public.
Los Angeles World Airports, operator of LAX, paid $5546.50 for Villaraigosa’s plane ticket, documents show. The price appears to suggest Villaraigosa flew in business class. The airport also paid the same price for Michael Lawson, president of the Board of Airport Commissioners. The airport also paid $2,095 for the plane ticket of mayor’s office employee Martha Preciado, documents show.
LAWA and the Port of Los Angeles — both self financing city departments — combined to pay for the trip. The two entities estimated they would each pay about $40,000 in total. The goal was to stimulate trade and build relationships with China’s political and economic leaders.
Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, has not yet met with new mayor Eric Garcetti about the prospect of keeping her job, a spokeswoman said Monday night.
Garcetti, who took office on Monday, has said all heads of city department would need to reapply for their positions. Last month, Lindsey told me she wanted to stay.
“As of today, Garcetti and Gina Marie have not yet met,” airports spokeswoman Nancy Castles told late Monday night. “So, our response remains the same as what we provided you last month about Gina Marie looking forward to meeting with the new mayor because there are several important airport issues to be discussed (and not just about LAX).”
UPDATE: Frontier’s flight cited below between Denver and Rockford, Ill. is not being entirely cut as I initially reported. Frontier is instead making the flight summer only service.
People periodically ask why Los Angeles World Airports chooses not to given incentives to airlines operating at LAX or Ontario International Airport.
Lots of airports do it. You waive terminal or landing fees for awhile, and you can convince an airline to start an otherwise marginal route. Smaller and midsize cities do it because civic leaders and airport executives believe it’s their only chance of getting a nonstop flight to Chicago, or Dallas or Denver. Politicians and business interests often argue it’s good for economic development.
But incentives are not permanent. And when they end, airlines often pull out.
Hence, this week’s news that Frontier Airlines is rolling back its flights between Rockford, Ill. and Denver. The Rockford Register Star reported that in the first nine months of that service service, the airport was paying Frontier $30,000 a month to prop up the flight.
It will now be summer only service.