Minutes from November 24, 2015 Open Board Meeting-Alan Wapner, Pres. ONT Airport Authority


 Tuesday, November 24, 2015

 Open Board of Directors Meeting

 San Bernardino Community College District
114 S. Del Rosa Drive
San Bernardino, CA 92408


Present: Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Rigo Bejarano, Carole Beswick, Ann Bryan, Matthew Buck, Mike Burrows, Ken Coate, Scott Davis, Louis Goodwin, Scott Hofferber, Matthew Isaac, Lowell King, Pam Langford, John Mirau, Lou Monville, Jan Remm, Paul Shimoff and Ray Wolfe.

Guests:  Ted Alejandre, Al Boling, Erin Brinker, Tobin Brinker and Vicky Ostermann.

Announcements:   1) A reminder that Inland Action will hold a Strategic Planning Session on Saturday, January 23, 2016, at the Redlands Country Club.  Golf will be available to those interested.  2) Ron Loveridge invites Inland Action members to have dinner and conversation with the city managers of Vallejo and Stockton following the Dec. 3 Randall Lewis Seminar the topic of which is “Two California Cities Emerge from Bankruptcy”. The program is from 5:30 to 7, dinner following, if you are interested in attending please let Carole know. 3) The Inland Empire Children’s Book Project (IECBP) is a non-profit organization that provides books at no cost to organizations that are in need serving children from ages 0-18.  The all-volunteer staff at IECBP currently organize, arrange and distribute new or gently used donated books to professionals such as teachers & social workers for children in the San Bernardino Unified School District at no cost.  Long term goals are to expand to serve the entire county.  Collection bins were made available for members in attendance.  Inland Action will have a collection bin and members are encouraged to donate at the meeting.

M/S/P:  Minutes from November 17, 2015.

Mike Burrows introduced Alan Wapner, President, Ontario International Airport Authority.

Alan Wapner longtime advocate of local control discussed the struggle for reclaiming Ontario International Airport (ONT) from Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).

Strategies & struggles

  • Years of negotiations to reclaim ONT from LAWA-unproductive.
  • A lawsuit to move control of ONT to local entity was filed claiming Los Angeles failed to bring in and retain service at ONT and properly market the airport, while abandoning plans to redistribute air traffic throughout the region.
  • Current and new state and federal legislation-did not provide a clear path.
  • The public campaign “Set Ontario Free” brought needed awareness and public support.

The real change began with the election of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.  The Mayor expressed that he was committed to returning Ontario Airport to local control and showed an immediate interest in discussions of aviation regionalization.

The settlement agreement to dismiss the lawsuit against L.A. and transfer ONT to local control was announced in August 2015.  With L.A. City Council approval, LAWA will transfer control to the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) by January 2016.  The OIAA was formed in 2012 by a Joint Powers Agreement between the City of Ontario and the County of San Bernardino to provide overall direction for the management, operations, development and marketing of ONT for the benefit of the Southern California economy and the residents of the airport’s four-county area (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino).  Federal Aviation Administration approval is expected in July 2016.  The agreement calls for $250M to be paid to L.A. in a ten year period.

Growth at other Southern California airports are impossible by political or geographical constraints.  ONT, however, has some 1,500 acres to grow or lease.  The airport currently handles 4 million passengers but has a capacity of 12 million (6 million at each terminal).  Studies from Southern California Associated Governments indicated that passenger service may be at 31million by 2035.

Confidence in ONT must be restored and some changes will happen right away.  Other changes will take time. The search for an experienced CEO for ONT has produced 130 applications both from the U.S. and elsewhere.  A candidate will be selected by January 1, 2016.  Future activities include:

  • Creation of a master plan addressing usage of vacant property
  • Develop up to 1,500 acres of airport property for needed revenue-used to reduce airline costs
  • Expand horizons for international travel-Asia, Mexico
  • Remodel the two existing terminals (not updated since 9/11 attacks)
  • Build new International terminal
  • Retain dedicated Customs Agents
  • Develop multi-modal connectivity to ONT
  • Encourage cargo growth for revenue
  • Increase security

Local control of Ontario Airport will help to develop a truly regional approach to accommodating the growing air traffic in Southern California.  It will provide passengers throughout the region better travel options, give the residents of Ontario and the I.E. a say over their own airport, and restore the region’s most important economic and jobs engine. It also represents a major step forward in regional cooperation that is so essential to the economic vitality of Southern California and quality of life.

A Q & A period followed.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 a.m.