Today, Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) introduced legislation designed to expedite the transfer of ownership and operations of Ontario International Airport (ONT) from Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to local control. The Transfer Control of Ontario Airport Now Act gives LAWA 60 days to transfer ownership of ONT to local control. If LAWA has not transferred control of the airport after 60 days, then a commission will be created to determine a fair market value for the sale of ONT. LAWA would then be forced to sell the airport to the City of Ontario at the commission's determined, fair market price.
"LAWA's continued mismanagement of Ontario Airport has led to exorbitant operating costs, large reductions in flight traffic, weakened security, and a significant loss of jobs and revenue for our local Inland economies," said Rep. Baca. "If LAWA is not going to give our airport a fair shot at success, then we must do everything in our power to return Ontario to local control. This responsible legislation will help to ensure an equitable solution for the transfer of ownership, enabling the cities of Ontario, Los Angeles and the entire Southern California region to have greater access to a wide variety of flight and transportation opportunities."
The Transfer Control of Ontario Airport Now Act further incentivizes LAWA to transfer ownership and operation of ONT by mandating the FAA withhold all funding from LAWA if they have not transferred ownership within the first 60 days after the bill's enactment. The commission that would be created if a transfer has not occurred in the first 60 days would be composed of three members selected by LAWA, three members selected by the City of Ontario, and three Members selected by the FAA.
"As the Member of Congress representing Ontario, I will continue to stand up and fight for our airport," concluded Rep. Baca. "Returning Ontario Airport to local control means more jobs, more tax revenues, and more economic development for the Inland Empire. We must act now, or lose our area will miss out on a vital economic driver due to LAWA's complacency."