Hearing on ONT lawsuit set for later this month

The first hearing in the lawsuit filed by Ontario which aims to dissolve an almost 50-year-old agreement with Los Angeles to operate L.A./Ontario International Airport is scheduled for Sept. 25 at Riverside County Superior Court.

Ontario filed the lawsuit June 4 seeking to regain control of ONT.

“The court may either take the matter under advisement or issue its decision on Los Angeles’ preliminary motions at that time,” said Roy Goldberg, the attorney representing Ontario in its lawsuit.

Los Angeles has made a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that the claims are not legally relevant, he said.

Michael Lawson, former president of Los Angeles World Airports Board of Airport Commissioners, has also denied Ontario’s claim.

“There is no sound, legal or factual basis for this claim,” Lawson said at a meeting earlier this summer.

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UPDATE: Marketing campaign for ONT unveiled

After months of touting a new marketing campaign for LA/Ontario International Airport, the promotional material has finally been unveiled.

The promotional material, “The cat is out of the bag!,” features a feline popping out of a paper bag with a chart above which focuses on attracting local travelers to use ONT by promoting the 14 non-stop destinations available at the airport.

With the slogan “Fly Ontario! Your purrfect choice for nonstop flights throughout the West,” the promotional material compares the average price for those routes to other Southern California airports.

LAWA brought in aviation consulting firm LexVolo to lead the marketing campaign.

On its blog, announcing the campaign, LexVolo said research showed the public has a misunderstanding of just what ONT has to offer.

“If you ever took a marketing class, you know that if the target customers’ awareness of your product is inaccurate, it is hard to get them to try it, let alone repeat use it, prefer it, or become loyal to it,” the blog stated.

Here’s the story I wrote about the plan last week when I spoke with ONT General Manager Jess Romo.

But the campaign noticeably leaves out  one thing from its brand –Los Angeles. In several references, the ad only refers to it as Ontario International Airport, including in a logo.

However, when you visit www.flyOntario.com it is once again branded as LA/Ontario International Airport.

UPDATE: I’m told that using Ontario Airport is just the style the agency uses for the local market. LA/Ontario International Airport is for outside of the region and out-of-state purposes.

Back to the firm involved in the project. The firm may not immediately sound familiar but its principal is Edward Shelswell-White.

Does the name ring a bell?

He was the consultant brought in last year to discuss this very issue with LAWA’s Board of Airport Commissioners. At a May 2012 meeting, his proposal, which looked at rebranding ONT as a high-end facility, was met with criticism from the commission.

He presented the previous plan under LexVolo’s affiliated company, Aloft Aviation Consulting. The commission questioned the direction, citing the fact that Inland Empire had been hit hard by the recession.

Following a lengthy discussion, the commission sent the proposal back. Earlier this summer Romo announced plans for the marketing campaign.


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ONT to get TSA Precheck screening

Checking into LA/Ontario International Airport is about to get easier.

The Transportation Security Administration has selected ONT for an expedited screening process to be implemented by the end of the year.

While lines aren’t usually long at ONT, travelers do have to a pause a moment to go through TSA’s screening.

Worry no more. TSA Pre✓allows travelers, who are pre-approved, to leave on their shoes, belt, as well as keep their laptop in its case. They also don’t have to hassle with taking out the liquids/gels bag in a carry-on.

Travelers who are approved will get TSA Pre✓ info on their boarding pass and will be able to breeze through the lines by using a select screening lane.

To be in the program, apply here (note: it will cost you $89).

Here are the lists of airlines that participate/will participate:

Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America may receive expedited screening benefits. JetBlue and Southwest are expected to begin participating

ONT was one of 60 airports selected for the process, TSA announced on Wednesday. A total of 40 airports already use the system including Los Angeles International Airport.

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Ontario councilman raises concern about Torrance ad

It was only meant to draw people out to the beach, not cause a controversy.

An advertisement promoting the city of Torrance that has appeared in the Daily Bulletin has Alan Wapner, president of the Ontario International Airport Authority, concerned it is an attempt to “poach business” from the Inland Empire city.

Wapner recently said he felt the ad was meant to capitalize on LA/Ontario International Airport’s dwindling passenger activity and aimed at Ontario as a way to lure business to Torrance. The South Bay city is near Los Angeles International Airport. Continue reading

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Upcoming Disney movie features ONT cameo

In the opening scenes for the trailer “Saving Mr. Banks,” audiences may notice a familiar sight: the old terminal at LA/Ontario International Airport, dressed up as an LA area airport.

The movie, which stars Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks, detailing the making of the 1964 production of “Mary Poppins.” Thomspon stars as P.L Travers – author of the children’s classic, who is being convinced by Walt Disney (Hanks) to turn the novel into a movie.

In the trailer, Thompson is seen wlecomed “to the City of Angeles,” by her driver (not sure if it is meant to be LAX or Burbank). Filming for the movie was said to have occurred in October.

From what I’ve read, the movie is generating a lot of buzz and was just selected to close the  2013 London Film Festival. The movie won’t be released until December, but here is the trailier


Those attending D23 in Anaheim today were shown new footage of movie.

This is not the first time ONT has served as a backdrop on the big screen – “Moneyball”, “Hangover 2″, and Oscar-winner “Argo” are just some of the recent movies that have filmed scenes at ONT. Not to mention the countless of commercials and television shows that have also chosen the Inland airport.

Here’s a story from earlier this year which examines ONT’s popularity for filming.

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ONT passenger traffic continues downward trend

Traffic at LA/Ontario International Airport continues to fall. Figures for June show an 8.48 percent drop from the same month the previous year. A total of 341,967 passengers traveled in and out of the airport.

For the first half of the year, activity at the airport is down 8 percent compared to the first six months in 2012. A total of 1.9 million passengers have passed through ONT.

As the downward trend continues comes news out of The Desert Sun that there are improvements being made at Palm Springs International Airport in anticipation of future growth.

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ONT ads hits the web

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying to connect with Jess Romo, general

ONT ad on the SigAlert.com site

ONT ad on the SigAlert.com site

manager at LA/Ontario International Airport, to get a better understanding about the new marketing plan at the medium-hub airport.

Here’s one story that I wrote briefly discussing the plan and here is another one my colleague Brian Sumers wrote when the funds were approved.

One of the plans was to help airlines – who offer new service – with up to $150,000 in marketing funds. I haven’t seen any ONT-related ads from airlines (that I know of) but I have seen more ads from LAWA in recent weeks.

The campaign launched July 1 but I noticed ads promoting ONT days before that. Today, as I was perusing SigAlert.com I noticed the image above. When I clicked on the link it took me to LA/ONT – The Facts.

LA/ONT-- The Facts website

LA/ONT– The Facts website

This is the first online ad I’ve seen for ONT that didn’t involve the SetONTFree folks.

The Facts link is something that LAWA created more than a year ago.

I’m not the only one who noticed ads, our editorial department weighed in on the issue.

Have you noticed the ad on the web before? Let me know.

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Ontario making a case for LAX lawsuit

In today’s paper we look into why would Ontario sue over a project involving an airport outside of San Bernardino County?

The Inland Empire city filed a joint lawsuit with San Bernardino County, Inglewood and Culver City opposing the modernization plan for Los Angeles International Airport. But their involvement in this lawsuit has left some people wondering why?

Read the rest of the story here.

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Tips for holiday travel

I haven’t seen any information from Los Angeles World Airports about tips on Fourth of July holiday/ summer travel for LA/Ontario International Airport.

So I thought I would share some tips I have received from John Wayne Airport, which expects an increase in holiday travel starting today through July 7.

If any of you are like Gary Ovitt, a member of Ontario International Airport Authority and San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, who said (if ONT is not an option) he would fly anywhere other than Los Angeles International Airport, than this information will be helpful for you.

Surprise, you can’t bring fireworks with you (the fact that this is included in the release makes me think this issue is more common than you think).

More tips from John Wayne Airport:

Travel Tips for Passengers and Visitors:

  • Arrive 90 minutes to two-hours before the flight departure time to find parking, check luggage and go through the security checkpoint. Passengers who are members of TSA Pre✓™ can expedite the screening process in Terminal A.
  • Drivers picking up passengers at the Airport are encouraged to utilize 2-hour parking spaces, located on the lower level of Parking Structures A1, B2 and C, as some portions of the white curb are closed due to construction.

Parking Options at JWA:

  • Curbside Valet Parking for $30 per day, located on the departure level between Terminals A and B, or in front of Terminal C.
  • Parking Structures A1, A2, B2 and C are located adjacent to and directly across from the Riley Terminal at a rate of $20 per day and $2 per hour with the first 15 minutes being free for those dropping off and picking up passengers.
  • Off-site Main Street Parking Lot located at 1512 Main St., Irvine for $14 per day with free shuttle service to/from the Terminal every 15 minutes.
  • For parking availability call 949.252.5200 or for directions to JWA, visit:http://www.ocair.com/parking/parking.htm.

For the latest travel tips and security requirements, log on to www.ocair.com for more information.

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