The Tension Between LAX and Ontario International Airport - Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Tony McEwing

The Tension Between LAX and Ontario International Airport

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The skies over Los Angeles have become increasingly less friendly the last few years because of the terrible tension between LAX and Ontario International Airport. The bad blood between the two entities has to do with the agency that operates both facilities. It's gotten so bad that Ontario International sued LA World Airports, the operator for both LAX and Ontario, to gain its independence. Now legal representatives from both sides will be back in court today to tell a judge whether they've been able to reach an out-of-court settlement. Maybe they have but I wouldn't hold my breath.

To understand just how ugly the relationship is between Ontario International and  LA World Airports, you have to go back seven years, before the start of the Great Recession. As far as Ontario is concerned, the numbers tell the story. Truthfully, they are depressing. Since 2007, passenger numbers at Ontario have declined by more than 40 percent. The question is why? And therein lies the reason for the dispute. Ontario claims it's because LA World Airports actively and enthusiastically promotes LAX while neglecting Ontario, including cutting its marketing budget much to the facility's detriment. But officials at LA World Airports insist that Ontario is simply a victim of the tough economic times, not any negligence on the agency's part.

Civic and business leaders in Ontario have launched a campaign called "Set Ontario Free," in an effort to drum up support for Ontario International's independence. The group wants to abolish, or at the very least reform the 50 year old agreement that gives LA World Airports control over the Inland Empire facility. I'd like to think that cooler heads will prevail and the two combatants will be able reach a truce of some kind. The fact is, this protracted verbal and legal war isn't good for either LAX or Ontario and simply serves to divert much needed energy and resources that could be better used for the betterment of both.

Tony McEwing co-anchors FOX 11 Morning News at 4:30 am and provides news updates for the Emmy award winning Good Day LA, broadcast weekdays from 7:00 - 10:00 am. He also co-anchors the FOX 11 10 am News and the FOX 11 News at Noon.
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