L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti wants better LAX ground transportation. But do airlines?

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A new LAX ground transportation center could look like this. But do airlines even want it? Rendering courtesy of L.A. World Airports.

Los Angeles International Airport executive director Gina Marie Lindsey says airlines have little interest in two projects favored by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti — an intermodal transportation center and an automated people mover.

She made the comments at Monday’s Board of Airport Commissioners meeting. Several members suggested to Lindsey that more efficient ground transportation — and thus less terminal area congestion –would make for happier airlines, but Lindsey pushed back against that assertion.

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein wants L.A. to work with Ontario on ONT airport. But is that enough?

Can better communication between Ontario and Los Angeles leaders save L.A./Ontario International Airport? Staff file photo.

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?

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L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti supports airline merger; read his letter to Attorney General Holder

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti supports a proposed merger between American and US Airways.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti supports a proposed merger between American and US Airways.

We reported earlier this week  that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti supports the proposed American Airlines/US Airways merger — the one the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to block.

Now, Garcetti has made it official. On Thursday, Gracetti sent a note to Washington, on city of Los Angeles letterhead, asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to reconsider the lawsuit.

“The merger between American Airlines and US Airways can produce much needed economic growth to stimulate the recovery of our local economy and communities,” Garcetti wrote.

At this point,  most mayors in American and US Airways hub cities have contacted the attorney general with similar sentiments. The one major hold out is New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Click below to read Garcetti’s letter.

Holder American US Air Airline Merger Support October 2013

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti supports American-US Airways merger

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti supports a proposed merger between American and US Airways.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti supports a proposed merger between American and US Airways.

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti supports a controversial proposed merger between American Airlines and US Airways that would create the largest airline in the world, an administration official told me on Wednesday.

The U.S. Department of Justice has sued to block the tie-up, with government lawyers arguing it will be bad for airline industry competition and that fares in many markets likely will rise. American and US Airways have been mounting a challenge, both legally and politically. Recently, airline officials have been lobbying elected leaders in key areas to go on the record in support of the merger. (In one major victory, American and US Airways persuaded Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to drop his state’s participation in the Justice Department Lawsuit.)

American has a major operation at Los Angeles International Airport, one of five cities nationwide at which it operates the bulk of its flights. The others are Dallas, New York, Miami and Chicago.

“We support the merger,” Garcetti spokesman Jeff Millman told me in an email. “Bringing together these companies creates a better network that will carry more passengers through Los Angeles Airports, creating jobs and economic activity in the process.”

I reached out to Millman today after the two airlines released a letter signed by seven mayors in American and US Airways hub cities urging U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder “to reconsider this ill-conceived lawsuit.” Garcetti was not one of the mayors on the letterhead.

“…Failure to clear the combination of American Airlines and US Airways will put our cities at an unnecessary competitive disadvantage to Atlanta, Newark and other hubs that directly benefit from the Delta and United mergers,” the seven mayors wrote in their letter.

Read on to see the letter, which was signed by the mayors of Chicago, Philadelphia, Fort Worth, Dallas, Miami-Dade County, Phoenix and Charlotte.

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LAWA chief Gina Marie Lindsey wants to keep job: Read her memo to Mayor Eric Garcetti

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.

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