Support for Ontario Airport Local Control Grows

Widespread regional support for local control of Ontario International Airport (ONT) has reached unprecedented levels with more than 100 endorsements received from public agencies, elected officials, newspaper editorials, and business and civic organizations, Ontario officials announced on Wednesday.

“The Set ONTario Free movement has exceeded our greatest expectations and continues to gain momentum,” said Ontario Councilmember Alan D. Wapner. “This vital issue has united Southern California as never before. The resounding message is that ONT will be better managed and operated, and make a greater contribution to the regional economy when it is under local control.”

The 110 major endorsements received to date are posted at SetONTarioFree.com.
There you can also view the resolutions, letters and a sampling of staff reports associated with the endorsements.

An editorial published last week in the Pasadena Star-News, Whittier Daily News and San Gabriel Valley Tribune said “…there is the undeniable fact that the airport authority ought to relinquish control over the Ontario airport immediately so that the Inland Empire hub can control its own destiny.”

Earlier, the Los Angeles Times, in an editorial endorsement for local control of ONT, said “…we can’t see a compelling reason for L.A. to keep running an airport so far away.”

Typical of the governmental support rolling in, Monterey Park – one of 20 cities in Los Angeles County supporting local control of ONT – said it supported the transfer of ONT to local control “in furtherance of airport regionalization and the region’s economy.”

A resolution adopted unanimously by the Monterey Park City Council called on Los Angeles and Ontario to “commit the necessary resources and effort to affect the transfer of ONT to local control at the earliest possible date.”

The San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership – representing a broad membership of businesses, local government, colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations – passed a similar resolution. It noted that after transfer to local control, ONT can operate on the same basis as airports in Burbank, Orange County, Long Beach and Palm Springs – as low-cost secondary airports under local control.

Public officials supporting Ontario include Congress Members Joe Baca, Ken Calvert, Gary Miller and Jerry Lewis; State Senators Bob Dutton, Bob Huff and Gloria Negrete McLeod; Assembly Members Wilmer Amina Carter, Tim Donnelly, Curt Hagman, Kevin Jeffries, Steve Knight, Brian Nestande and Norma Torres; Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, and Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster.

On March 20, the Los Angeles City Council Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee approved two motions that prompted a formal review of Ontario’s offer to Los Angeles to retake control of ONT. The report and recommendation by City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana will be issued this summer.

“Our comprehensive financial offer for local control of ONT will establish an airport authority committed to restoring region’s most important economic engine,” said Ontario Council Member Jim W. Bowman. “We are confident an in-depth, impartial review of Ontario’s offer by the Los Angeles CAO will validate the benefits to the entire region, including Los Angeles, of effecting the transfer without delay.”

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