Southern California breaking news and trends

LA City Council rejects $246 million offer for Ontario Airport

L.A./Ontario International Airport

David McNew/Getty Images

In the next 90 days, officials from Los Angeles and the Inland Empire will get together to negotiate a new management structure for LA/Ontario International Airport.

A $246 million offer to return Ontario International Airport to the control of Inland Empire officials was officially rejected Wednesday by the Los Angeles City Council, though the city’s top budget official was directed to find an alternative solution in the next 90 days.

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) operates LA/Ontario International Airport, but the city of Ontario has launched a public relations campaign to return the airport to local control. Five years ago, Ontario had 7.2 million passengers pass through the airport. Last year, traffic dropped to 4.5 million passengers. Ontario officials believe that drop was due in part to L.A.'s neglect of the airport.

The city agency that operates the Ontario Airport rejects that notion. Part of the problem is airlines are limiting their routes in and out of smaller, regional airports, said Gina Marie Lindsey, general manager of Los Angeles World Airports. When airlines map out routes, managers look at household income, the unemployment rate, and new housing starts, she said.


Surfin' LAX: Free Wi-Fi arrives at Los Angeles International Airport, possibly this summer

LAX Encounter restaurant

Photo by monkeytime | brachiator via Flickr Creative Commons

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners approved a plan on Monday with Advanced Wireless Group LLC (AWG) to provide free Wi-Fi internet service to travelers at Los Angeles International Airport.  

Until now, the LAX jet-set have been riding the Wi-Fi pay wave at $9.99 per session through T-Mobile. The new, free wireless internet service with AWG could begin as early as this summer, according to Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).

Here's how it will work: The first 45 minutes are free. After that, users can opt to pay for additional "premium and uninterrupted" Wi-Fi service for a 24-hour period, LAWA announced. LAX representative Katherine Alvarado told KPCC that plan details were forthcoming.

AWG will be required under the 2-year agreement to operate, maintain and upgrade the system for a minimum annual guaranteed revenue to LAWA of $283,333 in the first year, $380,000 the following year, and $420,000 in year three, if options are exercised.