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L.A. Council members want to study Ontario's airport proposal

A passanger walks into the LA/ Ontario International Airport, Terminal 2 last September. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Two Los Angeles City Councilmen on Tuesday called for a study of Ontario’s proposal to regain control of L.A./Ontario International Airport, which has lost about a third of its passengers since 2007.

Councilmen Dennis Zine and Bill Rosendahl introduced a motion requesting that Los Angeles World Airports explore ways to increase air travel at Ontario International, determine the fair market value of the struggling airport and analyze Ontario’s offer to take over the facility. City lawyers would help in the studies.

The resolution will go before the council’s trade, commerce and tourism committee, which considers policies that would affect Los Angeles International Airport, Ontario International,  Van Nuys Airport and Palmdale Regional Airport, which is now closed. Councilman Paul Koretz seconded the motion.

“We are confident that when all the facts are known and carefully considered the L.A. city government will recognize that our offer is fair and provides superior financial consideration to those realized in similar airport transfers throughout the U.S.,” said Ontario City Councilman Alan Wapner.

Ontario officials say that  Los Angeles World Airports has not done enough to stop a severe loss of passengers from 7.2 million in 2007 to slightly more than 4.5 million last year. Los Angeles officials blame the downturn on the recession.

Los Angeles began operating the airport on behalf of Ontario in 1967 and assumed ownership in 1985 at very little cost.

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-- Dan Weikel

Photo: A passanger walks into the LA/ Ontario International Airport, Terminal 2 last September. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

 
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