Ontario, CA – Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Ontario Mayor pro Tem Alan D. Wapner today announced a Settlement Agreement Term Sheet has been signed which will lead to the transfer of ownership of LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT) to the Ontario International Airport Authority (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.
In a joint statement issued at a news conference at ONT, Garcetti and Wapner said the Settlement Term Sheet adheres to the premise that Los Angeles and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) will be reimbursed to the extent needed to make them whole regarding investments they have made in ONT, while providing job protection to the airport’s current employees. A long form settlement agreement consistent with the initial term sheet will be prepared within 60-days. A formal approval process is expected to begin in October 2015, with the entire process, including FAA approval, expected to be completed within one year.
“Together, we've reached a deal that will benefit everyone: Inland Empire residents, Angelenos, LAWA, the Ontario Airport, and the dedicated employees who work at our airports," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "This agreement resulted from hard work and courage on both sides of the table. I have supported the transfer of ONT to local control since my first day in office and I am thrilled that we can stop litigation and focus on a partnership that expands Southern California's commitment to superior air travel."
He added, “As we continue our revitalization of LAX to make it a world-class airport befitting our global city, we are equally committed to the excellence of Ontario in serving its own regional customer base."
The tentative agreement precludes the need for further litigation between the cities. The cities will request that a jury trial scheduled to begin August 17 in Riverside County Superior Court be stayed.
“I have tried to help facilitate the process to reach a settlement over Ontario International Airport, and I salute the mayor and other officials for making it happen, as building additional service at the airport is in the best interests of passengers and the area,” said U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).
Wapner, who also serves as OIAA President, said, “On behalf of the coalition of counties and cities that have supported local control for ONT, I commend Mayor Garcetti for his commitment to airport regionalization. This action will help ensure that Southern California has the airport capacity to meet the long-term demand for air travel and restore the region’s most important economic and jobs engine. This also represents a major step forward in regional cooperation that is so essential to the economic vitality of Southern California and our quality of life.
"Transferring control of Ontario International to the City of Ontario will help us fulfill the promise of developing a truly regional approach to accommodating the growing air traffic in Southern California," said Councilmember Mike Bonin, who represents LAX and the surrounding communities. "It will provide passengers throughout the region better travel options, give the residents of Ontario a say over their own airport, and ease the burden of traffic and congestion on the neighborhoods surrounding LAX."
Los Angeles World Airports is a self-supporting department of the City of Los Angeles, governed by a seven-member Board of Airport Commissioners. The Board is comprised of public-spirited business and civic leaders appointed by the mayor and approved by the City Council. Policies of the commission are carried out by a staff of nearly 3,500 administrative, technical, and law-enforcement employees, who operate and maintain three airports and aviation-related property in the LAWA system: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT), Van Nuys Airport (VNY) general aviation and Palmdale aviation-related property.
ONT is located in the Inland Empire, approximately 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles in the center of Southern California. It is a medium-hub, full-service airport with direct commercial jet service to 15 major U.S. cities and connecting service to many domestic and international destinations. There are approximately 62 daily departures offered by 8 air carriers. For more information about ONT, please visit www.flyOntario.com, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ONTAirport, and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/flyONTAirport.
The OIAA was formed in August 2012 by a Joint Powers Agreement between the City of Ontario and the County of San Bernardino to provide overall direction for the management, operations, development and marketing of ONT for the benefit of the Southern California economy and the residents of the airport's four-county catchment area. OIAA Commissioners are Ontario Mayor pro Tem Alan D. Wapner (President), Ontario Council Member Jim W. Bowman, San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman, Retired Riverside Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge (Vice President) and Orange County Business Council President and CEO Lucy Dunn (Secretary).
The City of Ontario is located in southwest San Bernardino County with a population of 163,924 (2010 census). It is uniquely positioned as the center of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. It offers access to the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles as well as a transportation corridor that stretches west to east along Interstate 10 as well as connections directly to Canada and Mexico via Interstate 15. The city is governed by a five-member council: Mayor Paul S. Leon, Mayor pro Tem Alan D. Wapner, Council Members Jim W. Bowman, Debra Dorst-Porada and Paul Vincent Avila.