AVLAirlineFreq From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 1136 posts, RR: 0 Posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2316 times:
ONT has signed former Los Angeles Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda to star in a two-minute commercial to plead for local control of the airport, taking it away from Los Angeles. Lasorda was paid $10,000 for his gig. The city of Ontario has been trying to wrest control of the airport in order to rebuild its frequency of flights. Daily departures at ONT are now just 62, less than half the number five years ago.
B6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2914 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2087 times:
I wish them a lot of luck on their endeavor. I never got to see our (B6) operation out in ONT, but I do hear quite a few people on our transcon flights say that they miss it, especially those who live "inland". Interesting choice for a "celebrity endorsement", I must admit!
"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
Beardown91737 From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1930 times:
Well they were lucky to sign him before the Dodgers ownership change was announced. Tommy is a local icon but now with the team in new hands that care about winning, everything Dodger related is a bit more attention-grabbing now.
135 hrs PIC (mostly PA-28) - not current. Landings at MDW, PIA, JAN.
SurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2968 posts, RR: 30
Reply 3, posted (2 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1890 times:
Interesting. I didn't see folks in ONT complaining when the city of Los Angeles stepped in to manage their insolvent backwater airport, investing vast sums of money in state of the art terminals and numerous other airfield improvements. I didn't see folks in ONT complaining when the L.A. officials successfully wooed all kinds of new tenants and flights in the late 90s and early 2000s:
- AC, a prominent foreign flag carrier
- AM, a prominent foreign flag carrier
- B6, a popular airline offering a convenient nonstop option to NYC
- F9, offering a low-cost option to Denver and points years before WN served DEN
- HA, a very high quality domestic carrier with widebody service to Hawaii
- TZ, another airline that was willing to serve Hawaii nonstop
Not to mention the fact that newly independent ExpressJet decided to open its largest hub at the airport, serving as the carrier's primary gateway to L.A. ZK also later elected to open a regional "hub" at the airport.
I'm sure there are other routes and airlines that I have forgotten, but the point is that L.A. officials transformed the airport into a state of the art gateway poised to handle as much of the area's growth as possible, considering the lack of operating and expansion restrictions when compared to LAX, BUR, LGB, and SNA. They were able to convince just about every single viable airline candidate to serve the airport, but the local market was simply unable to support the new flights. I have a hard time believing that local management can overcome the dismal local economic conditions and broad industry trends (legacies and now LCCs moving away from lower-yielding alternate airports to primary facilities like LAX) to do a better job than L.A. officials have done thus far. Let them have the airport back, along with all of the debt and operating costs, and we'll see what transpires. They are worried that LAX was taking too many flights away from ONT, let's see them aggressively compete for the airline service against LAX now. Might as well dump PMD too, nobody wants to trek all the way out to ONT or PMD for their flights. Might as well plow all the LAWA money back into LAX, where it belongs. LAX is slowly but steadily becoming a world-class gateway to a world-class city, and getting rid of ONT should help that.
Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
No one complained while LAWA was doing their job that they agreed to under the Joint Powers Agreement in 1967. Now 45 years later LAWA brings high costs and questionable marketing.
Air Canada arrived on their own, according to news reports at the time. Likewise, ExpressJet deliberately picked stations which were not other airlines hubs.
Whatever actual wooing LAWA did was required bt the JPA anyway. That was the cost for LAWA to get a usable alternate to LAX. When LAX has a power failure, TPAC arrivals could land 50 miles away, rather than having to make it to LAS or PHX or turn back to SFO and then have an hour trip once the lights were back on.
An example of marketing in recent years: Allegiant (G4) is known for flying into alternate airports but LAWA got them into LAX, even though LAX is only one mile closer to Disneyland. ONT has lots of terminal space and short taxi times, and shortens the flights by a few miles. All of this would be more to G4's liking but somehow it didn't wind up that way. The result is many dozens of lost tourists dumped onto LA freeways every day, which is exactly what LA residents don't want.
Another example is that LAWA showed up at the Long Beach travel show with a booth called "ONT.. LA's Second Airport". Sounds like a good idea until you remember that LGB is right there in Long Beach. If that can't handle what they need then they LAX is fairly close. So that appearance was good for appearances but had a low potential for gathering business.
Now LAWA has one person as general manager between ONT and VNY which is one of the top GA airports in the nation. The LA city council rep in the VNY area also questions this.
The vast sums of money invested over 45 years is about 550 million. That has largely been paid by PFCs and fees to the airlines. Ontario has offered a package they value at $250M to get ONT under local control.
Right now Ontario cannot compete aggressively against LAX for air traffic. An independent ONT can, and that is what the City of Ontario wants. With a population of 166,000, it seems small compared to LA at almost 4 million, but plenty of comparble communities like Rockford and Peoria operate airports successfully, free of the big city bloat and bungling that LA has been tied up in lately in many departments.
Ouch. I do believe most of that has been the economy. Numerous people I knew flying in and out of ONT have lost to foreclosure their inland homes and are rebuilding. This some of this is a 'frustration vote.'
Quoting Beardown91737 (Reply 2): Well they were lucky to sign him before the Dodgers ownership change was announced.
Agreed. I'm certain TL's value just went up by a factor of four or more.
Quoting Beardown91737 (Reply 5): Now 45 years later LAWA brings high costs and questionable marketing.
They also seem to have too many other concerns. LAWA did well for ONT in the past. I'm not certain if ONT could do better on their own or not. IMHO, it comes down to 'what is the cost savings?' If significant, than breaking off of LAWA would help.
For example, there was a nearby land owner who wanted to set up a freight hub on their land utilizing ONT's runways that was blocked by LAWA. I think such initiatives should go forward. While some will fail... All it takes is one doing really well to turn around the airport.
I absolutely love the City of Los Angeles. It's a wonderful place. But, the airport is a disgusting, trash heap of an airport. It is a disgrace on the City of Los Angeles. The terminals are disgusting (terminal "3rd world" comes to mind, along with T1), some TSA people look like they steal cars or sell crack as a side job, the traffic within the airport makes the 110 on a Friday look light, and LAWA PD who do nothing but ticket people on Sepulveda and talk on the phone in the terminals.
LAX will never, ever, be a "world-class gateway" airport. I don't care how many billions they spend on TBIT. It will never be a good airport.