By Ed Coghlan.

If you talk to political and economic leaders in the Inland Empire, the idea of local control of the Ontario Airport is a very important development.

Now it looks like that control may occur this summer.

A final settlement agreement among the Ontario City Council, Ontario International Airport Authority and Los Angeles World Airports’ board of airport commissioners has been released. Ontario will pay $30 million from its reserves at the time of the transfer — two $15 million lump sums during the escrow process — and make additional payments of $50 million over five years and another $70 million in the final five years, according to the agreement.

Inland Empire leaders have been chafing about the lack of travel options at the Ontario Airport and that to travel across country, they’d have to travel the hour or more to LAX in order to find flights.

The issue here is the regional economy, a focus of the California Economic Summit which was held, not ironically, in Ontario last November.

The jobs of the 215 employees at the Ontario Airport will be protected. For political leaders, likeAssemblymember Cheryl Brown who spoke with us at the Summit, it’s not just those jobs, but the jobs that will be created by more traffic at the Airport.

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Originally posted at CA Fwd.