Los Angeles signs $250m deal to transfer ownership of Ontario airport

6 August 2015 (Last Updated August 6th, 2015 18:30)

Los Angeles World Airports has signed a $250m deal to transfer the ownership of Ontario International Airport (ONT) in Canada to the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA).

ontario

Los Angeles World Airports has signed a $250m deal to transfer the ownership of Ontario International Airport (ONT) in California to the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA).

Once the transfer is complete, the airport will be operated by the OIAA, which was formed under a joint-powers agreement between the city of Ontario and San Bernardino County.

The Los Angeles' airport agency had acquired the airport in 1985 from the Inland Empire city with plans to turn it into an 'intercontinental jetport', reported the Los Angeles Times.

However, the plan could never materialise and the authority transferred the airport to Palmdale officials around two years ago.

"As we continue our revitalisation of LAX to make it a world-class airport befitting our global city."

Ontario sued Los Angeles after the airport recorded a drop of three million passengers between 2007 and 2012.

After a prolonged battle, the two sides have reached an agreement as a result of which a judicial hearing scheduled for next week will be requested to be stayed.

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said: "Together, we've reached a deal that will benefit everyone: Inland Empire residents, Angelenos, LAWA, the Ontario Airport, and the dedicated employees who work at our airports.

"As we continue our revitalisation of LAX to make it a world-class airport befitting our global city, we are equally committed to the excellence of Ontario in serving its own regional customer base."

While the final terms of the agreement, are yet to be finalised, the deal is expected to take a year to close with various approvals still pending.

Los Angeles Council member Mike Bonin said: "Transferring control of Ontario International to the City of Ontario will help us fulfill the promise of developing a truly regional approach to accommodating the growing air traffic in Southern California.

"It will provide passengers throughout the region better travel options, give the residents of Ontario a say over their own airport, and ease the burden of traffic and congestion on the neighbourhoods surrounding LAX."


Image: The transfer of Ontario airport's ownership is likely to happen in 2016. Photo: courtesy of City of Los Angeles.