DOWNEY - Downey has added its voice to the rising chorus calling for the Los Angeles World Airways (LAWA), which calls the shots at Ontario International Airport (ONT), to shift control of ONT operations to a local entity so LAWA can focus its energy more on modernizing Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).It has been shown that for some time now, passenger patronage at ONT has been on the decline. The resolution passed Tuesday by the City Council is in support of increasing efforts to better address the ONT patronage decline and regional service demands. Both the Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion (ARSAC) and the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation have strongly urged the proper policy authorities-with ARSAC especially urging the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners--to transfer ONT airport management decisions to the local Ontario area. In its resolution, the City Council acknowledged that local control of airports in Southern California has been shown to be conducive to development of successful regional airports because the airport sponsor has a vested interest in the airport making the greatest contribution to its economy, as well as the fact that local control of ONT will help ensure that all of Southern California will have sufficient airport capacity to meet the long-term demand for air travel in the region. According to the resolution, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Regional Council (of which Downey is a member) had already enacted its own resolution on Sept. 2, 2010 recommending the transfer of ONT to local control as being in the best interests of Los Angeles and the Southern California region. SCAG was also quoted as saying that under local control, ONT can recover from the economic downturn of the past several years while positioning itself for long-term growth, and this is consistent with the reorganization of air traffic contemplated in SCAG's Regional Transportation Plan. The resolution further affirms 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. The City Council's resolution further requests the cities of 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.
********** Published: January 10, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 39