Ontario, Calif., officials now say that the $50 million payment they offered to Los Angeles for LA/Ontario International Airport was only part of a $250 million package the city offered to transfer title and operations of its airport, according to published reports.
Gina Marie Lindsey, Los Angeles World Airports’ executive director, revealed the offer of a $50 million payment in January as she reiterated that her organization has no plans to return the airport to local control.
Ontario officials who thought negotiations would remain private were upset when Lindsey shared the information publicly.
Ontario officials have been lobbying Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the Los Angeles City Council as well as LAWA to transfer control of the airport, saying they are better positioned than Los Angeles to market their local facility, which has seen dramatic declines in traffic.
In the proposal from Ontario, the city would be responsible for paying the remaining $73 million in existing debt obligations, according to a report in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.
City officials have also agreed to divert $125 million of ONT’s future passenger facility charges to LAX. Airports use the fees to fund projects approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The proposal has to be approved by the FAA. Ontario’s proposal would defer those PFC transfers until it brings down the fees airlines are charged at the airport to make it more competitive.
Lindsey said recently in a statement that LAWA has spent about $560 million to build Ontario’s twin terminals, improve the roadways and install a high-tech baggage system. She claims the offer is far too low and that the airport is not for sale.
A Los Angeles City Council committee is expected to review the proposal this month.