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Old Oct 31, 11, 1:38 pm   #1
 
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As use dwindles, calls grow for local control of Ontario (California) airport

But Inland Empire leaders suspect something more insidious is at work. Increasingly, they are convinced that Los Angeles World Airports, which operates both LAX and Ontario, has become an absentee landlord bent on a multibillion-dollar modernization of LAX at the expense of its weaker stepchild and potential competitor 56 miles to the east.

"It really smacks of economic warfare against the Inland Empire," said John Husing, an economic consultant with a local business coalition. "Los Angeles officials cannot be trusted.... They have done everything in their power to ruin this airport."

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,2228265.story
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Old Oct 31, 11, 3:41 pm   #2
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Per http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...elsewhere.html will move to the appropriate geographic forum with a 30-day re-direct here.

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Old Oct 31, 11, 7:10 pm   #3
 
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Without knowing what dirty games may be going on behind the scenes, common sense tells me that they SHOULD be investing 95% of their time, attention, and dollars at LAX. I've used both airports, and ONT is lucky to be considered fifth fiddle.
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Old Oct 31, 11, 9:05 pm   #4
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It does seem like LAWA would have a bit of a perverse incentive to suppress traffic at ONT in order to promote LAX, which is part of the region that votes them into office. Inland Empire voters cannot vote for LA City Council members (the bosses of LAWA).

But on the other hand, traffic has been falling at most southern California airports (except LGB, I believe) and indeed at most airports nationwide, so I'm not sure if Ontario is reading this correctly.
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Old Nov 1, 11, 1:40 pm   #5
 
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Ontario passenger service is down because of the economy (duh!). BUR and SNA passenger counts are down too. ONT is not unique.

The LA Times also completely short change LAWA's effort to develop Ontario as a cargo hub (UPS is the largest airline in ONT), and the fact that ONT has high operating cost because it is a large airport (physical size). It's not like SNA or BUR, which are only a few city blocks long. ONT is a huge and it cost money and lots of people to keep it running.

As to rationalization, IE politicians likes to point fingers but if they really do have a plan to turn ONT into a major international gateway airport, I would like to hear it... The City of Ontario and San Bernadino County have under-invested in transportation infrastructure for years and there is no reason to believe they know what they are doing. Southwest San Bernardino county and northwest Riverside County combined is one of the largest metro area in the US... but it is so lacking in public transportation, the IE ranks 2nd to last in mobility for large metro areas. Does San Bernardino county have a plan to build light rail to link ONT to well... anywhere? Metrolink tracks pass right by ONT and LAWA had asked about Metrolink service before but San Bernardino County did not want to fund it. Bus service in IE is a joke. And for most people, ONT is a long drive away. So why would people in other parts of LA region chose ONT when getting to BUR is so much easier?
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Old Nov 6, 11, 12:53 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
Ontario passenger service is down because of the economy (duh!). BUR and SNA passenger counts are down too. ONT is not unique.

The LA Times also completely short change LAWA's effort to develop Ontario as a cargo hub (UPS is the largest airline in ONT), and the fact that ONT has high operating cost because it is a large airport (physical size). It's not like SNA or BUR, which are only a few city blocks long. ONT is a huge and it cost money and lots of people to keep it running.

As to rationalization, IE politicians likes to point fingers but if they really do have a plan to turn ONT into a major international gateway airport, I would like to hear it... The City of Ontario and San Bernadino County have under-invested in transportation infrastructure for years and there is no reason to believe they know what they are doing. Southwest San Bernardino county and northwest Riverside County combined is one of the largest metro area in the US... but it is so lacking in public transportation, the IE ranks 2nd to last in mobility for large metro areas. Does San Bernardino county have a plan to build light rail to link ONT to well... anywhere? Metrolink tracks pass right by ONT and LAWA had asked about Metrolink service before but San Bernardino County did not want to fund it. Bus service in IE is a joke. And for most people, ONT is a long drive away. So why would people in other parts of LA region chose ONT when getting to BUR is so much easier?

It's the economy. ONT is actually closer to a major rail line (Amtrak and Metrolink), but not close enough to make a real impact (it's too far away from major urban center of LA and there's no shuttle bus between the rail stations and the airport). LAX is woefully short of transportation options other than taxi and the occasional Flyaway bus, but it's closer to more centers for tourists and businesspeople and, most critically, has a lot more flights, including international ones. I've flown into Ontario several times, since I have relatives in the area, but wouldn't use it in order to get to L.A. in most circumstances. The airport itself is a bit spartan (e.g., NO places to eat or drink outside of security if you're meeting someone), but it's a lot less hectic than LAX and parking is cheaper. Not much in the way of eateries, lounges, etc. once inside security, but more than BUR. BUR is nice, but in most cases there are far fewer flight options than even ONT, and fares generally higher.

Until the economy improves, including profit margins of airlines (yeah, more fees), I don't see the fortunes of ONT turning around anytime soon. The Inland Empire is in a deeper recession than other parts of So Cal.

Remember, years ago there was a big push to make Palmdale the site of a new, bigger, improved LAX? So Cal has lots of airports. Lots of choices. And ONT is kind of out there.
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Old Nov 6, 11, 6:03 pm   #7
 
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"Last year, the fees that Ontario charged air carriers per passenger averaged $14.50, about seven times those charged at Burbank, more than twice those at Long Beach, 45% more than Orange County's John Wayne Airport and 31% higher than LAX...Lindsey also said Ontario's expenses and staffing have been reduced, lowering this year's per-passenger fees for airlines to $11.73 — although they remain the highest in the region."

The article says ONT was 31% higher than LAX last year but it appears now to be competitive. I'm not seeing how a few bucks difference in PFC make ONT less competitive. IMO the dramatic cutback in flights by the airlines serving ONT are responsible for the higher fares.

ONT is my home airport and it's not uncommon these days to drive past the airport in the afternoon and not see one single plane sitting at either terminal. LAX often has cheaper fares but by the time you add in more expensive parking and the extra gas it takes to drive there it's usually about even. And rush hour traffic makes LAX essentially a non-option for IE residents during much of the work week.
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