Minutes from November 20, 2018 Open Board Meeting-ONT Airport Update

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Open Board of Directors Meeting

3200 Inland Empire Blvd.
First Floor Media Room
Ontario, CA 91764



Present:   Deborah Barmack, Carole Beswick, Ken Coate, Kevin Dyerly, Ashley Gaines, Louis Goodwin, Otis Greer, Mark Kaenel, Pam Langford, Brian Reider, Dan Roberts, Kristine Scott, Paul Shimoff, Phil Southard, David VanVoorhis and Steve van Rajcs

Guests: Jeff Kraus and Arnold San Miguel

Announcements: 1) On November 19, 2018 Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris repeated (from October 19, 2018) their call for an agreement on a package of Ninth Circuit judges to fill multiple vacancies.

M/S/P: Minutes from November 6, 2018

Atif Elkadi, Deputy Executive Officer, Ontario International Airport has been very busy since coming to the airport in November of 2017.  He was previously senior corporate communications manager at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport where he developed the airport’s communications strategy and implemented its strategic communications initiatives. He also managed internal communications, customer service communications and social media for Dubai International Airport.

During the last 10-20 years there has been a lack of investment at Ontario Airport.  Since they are now under local control, the airport is focusing on basics: increasing flights, adding airlines (Frontier, Jet Blue and China Air), landscaping, having appropriate shops and restaurants in the terminal, signage changes and re-paving.  They have accomplished a great deal in a short time but have much more work ahead.

Unlike Ontario, the other Southern California airports are all built out and at capacity.  Prior to local control, passenger service at Ontario had dropped to some 1.5 million annually but this year they expect that number to be at 5 million.  With a total annual capacity for 30 million passengers they are a needed component for all Southern California.   Plans to expand will take time and must be well thought out.  The Airport works with key partners like SCAG, SBCTA and others to grow intelligently.

The airport is an important economic driver in the region and they are refocused on marketing and creating a state-of-the-art facility for passenger convenience and accommodations.  They recently installed fiber optic to provide possibly the fastest Wi-Fi internet service of any airport and have 13 very popular therapy dogs that wear the airport logo and work with customers.  Launching in December, passengers will be able to reserve parking on-line which will have dynamic pricing that provides a cost savings for passengers.  The airport is sensitive to offering both local and big brands in retail and food service and looks forward to a new mix of vendors.

E-commerce in the Inland Empire is a fast-growing market which presents great opportunities for the airport.

China Air, which offers direct flights from Ontario to Taipei, is running at 80-90% capacity.  The international terminal has been refurbished and the time from touch down to clearing customs for international passengers is down to 55 minutes.

Ontario Airport is involved in a pilot program with TSA where all passengers are treated as TSA Pre-Check and trained canine teams work to screen, deter and detect explosives within airports.  These teams are accurate and fast, screening 1,600 passengers per hour.

Most recently Ontario surpassed the Atlanta Airport as the top freight and cargo carrier in the U.S.  FedEx and UPS have both expanded at Ontario and are just beginning their busiest season.

More direct flights have been requested and commercial airlines are seriously considering consumer feedback through social media.  Popular non-stop routes include Hawaii, Boston and Washington, D.C.

Incentives for airlines to fly in and out of ONT include waiver of landing fees for the first year of operations.

Atif Elkadi will e-mail Inland Action staff specific bills and recommendations they support for review, as well as contact information for airlines. This could allow for influencing route additions.

A Q & A period followed.

Meeting Adjourned 8:31 a.m.