LA Airport authority's proposed budget pinches pennies

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L.A. Airport commissioners are looking at a budget for next year that pushes out maintenance and other costs while the financial crisis still cripples local finances.

KPCC’s Molly Peterson has more.

The $664 million budget the airport authority is considering for next year is just about the same as the present one. Most of the Los Angeles World Airports pie goes to LAX, which will get a little more money for training, escalator maintenance, and improvements to baggage claim at Terminal 1.

The rest goes to other airfields. Palmdale will take over most costs at the airport there, so the airport commission proposes to spend less than half what it used to at that airport. Operating expenses could go down almost 10 percent in Ontario, which had 30 percent fewer passengers in the first third of the year, lost some airline business, and has already hiked parking fees.

Van Nuys airport will get 23 percent less for its operating budget. That airfield in the San Fernando Valley has struggled to balance its budget for years. Van Nuys airport authorities plan to cut police and some emergency expenses, but will still operate millions of dollars in the red.