Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti names his picks for airport commission

LAX Thanksgiving

Ben Bergman

Mayor Eric Garcetti named six new Board of Airport Commissioners members Tuesday. Among their top priorities will be the future of LAX's northern runway and control of the Ontario Airport.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti named his seven picks to oversee Los Angeles World Airports Tuesday.

The Board of Airport Commissioners is responsible for Los Angeles World Airports, which includes LAX, Van Nuys Airport and LA/Ontario International Airport. The seven appointments — listed below with their names and occupations — are subject to confirmation by the Los Angeles City Council:

  • Sean Burton, CityView, president
  • Gabriel Eshaghian, Somerset Group, prinicpal 
  • Jackie Goldberg, former L.A. city councilwoman
  • Bea Hsu, Related California, vice president
  • Matthew Johnson, Ziffren Brittenham LLP, managing partner 
  • Cynthia Telles, former vice president of L.A.'s Ethics Commission
  • Valerie Velasco, attorney and Airport Commissioner

"L.A.'s airports are a critical economic engine and our city's first impression for millions of visitors every year. I'm pleased to appoint these talented Angelenos to the airport commission and know they will focus on ensuring L.A. has world class airports that are also first class neighbors," Garcetti said. 

That reference to being "first class neighbors" is in part a nod to the Westchester community that opposed a plan to move LAX's northern runway 260 feet closer to homes. LAX officials want to move the runway to make way for larger aircrafts. During the campaign, Garcetti said he opposed moving the runway because it could disrupt nearby homes and residents. 

It's expected that the new commissioners will also make decisions on the future of the Ontario Airport. Inland Empire officials had been negotiating with the city to return the airport to local control. Under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, those talks had stalled.

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