By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Restoration of local control of Ontario International Airport will provide a powerful boost to San Bernardino County’s economy, with side benefits to Southern California Logistics Airport and the High Desert, said Robert A. Lovingood, vice chair of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.
“This is one of the critical components to ensure Inland Empire’s continued economic recovery and continued growth,” Lovingood said. “This further ensures that our two-county region, the City of Ontario and other inland cities will become the desired areas within Southern California to live, work and play.”
The Inland Empire has taken a tremendous economic hit over the last several years as air service and passenger traffic at the Ontario International Airport has plummeted to levels not seen since the 1980s. Under absentee ownership, the severe decline in activity has cost our region $400 million annually and 8,000 jobs. The County and the City of Ontario proposes to return the airport to the Airport Authority, thereby improving operations and protecting the local economy.
“Once this airport transition is complete, I fully expect ONT to see tremendous growth in terms of added flights, passenger traffic and job growth,” Lovingood said. “That will naturally generate activity and growth at Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville. SCLA is already home to large commercial operators like Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, and General Electric. SCLA is designed for international air cargo and heavy maintenance, with an extended 15,050-foot runway and does not have the airspace problems of other Southern California airports.”
Lovingood praised efforts by Ontario City Council Member Alan D. Wapner and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, as well as, San Bernardino County and SANBAG, in advocating for local control of Ontario airport. San Bernardino County is a member of the Ontario International Airport Authority JPA. The County has been working with the Congressional delegation and local stakeholders to aggressively advocate for legislation, budget or proposals that transfer Ontario International Airport to local control.