Jul 13 2016
Washington—The Senate today passed legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration. The bill includes a provision offered by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to allow the transfer of Ontario International Airport from Los Angeles to Ontario.
“Today is four years in the making. This bill will allow Ontario airport to return to local control, a significant victory for the Inland Empire. The transfer will allow the airport to be revitalized and reclaim its role as a driver of economic growth for California,” said Senator Feinstein. “It took two mayoral administrations to get here and I’d like to congratulate the leadership of both airports and the cities and counties that helped—their persistence to achieve consensus made this transfer a reality.”
In August 2015, local officials announced an agreement that would transfer ownership of the airport back to Ontario from Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). As part of that agreement, Ontario agreed to pay LAWA $120 million over 10 years to compensate Los Angeles International Airport for funds it collected from passengers to pay for a new terminal at Ontario Airport in the 1990s.
Ontario expects to pay much of this through passenger facility charges from future passengers. However, under current statute, such transfers between airport authorities are not permitted. The provision amends the statute so Ontario can transfer this money even after the airport authorities are separated, allowing Ontario to fulfill the agreement.
After the FAA reauthorization is signed into law, the Ontario International Airport Authority, Los Angeles World Airports and FAA will be able to finalize the transfer.