Several private companies interested in managing Ontario International Airport
The operator of Los Angeles/Ontario International Airport announced Tuesday that 10 private companies are interested in managing the beleaguered airport, which has lost about a third of its passengers since 2007.
Los Angeles World Airports solicited the so-called expressions of interest in early January as part of a study to determine the feasibility of shifting the management of Ontario International from Los Angeles to a private company. The responses, which are from a mix of U.S. and international firms, will be evaluated.
Elected officials in the Inland Empire have been seeking a change in the operator, claiming that poor management by Los Angeles World Airports has contributed to a steep decline in passengers. Ontario International had about 7.2 million passengers in 2007 compared to 4.8 million today.
“This encouraging response is an indication that Ontario is a key asset for the city of Los Angeles,” said Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports. “Despite being affected by the economic slowdown, Ontario remains an important airport in our system and the sheer number of inquiries demonstrates that others feel the same way.”
Ontario city officials are in separate talks with Los Angeles World Airports in an attempt to gain control of the airport. If they prevail, they say, they will follow up with four companies that expressed interest.
-- Dan Weikel
Photo: Ontario airport in 2006. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times