Inland Empire officials want to take back control of the Los Angeles/Ontario International Airport. The city of Ontario filed a legal claim Thursday to make that happen.
It’s the latest step in on-going negotiations between the City of Ontario and Los Angeles over the sale of the facility.
The legal claim comes after Ontario officials rejected an offer from Los Angeles World Airports to sell the regional airport for $475 million.
But Ontario advisers value it at a negative worth of $78 million to $104 million.
The 30-page legal claim (see below) seeks to transfer ownership of the airport from L.A. to the Ontario International Airport Authority.
It also seeks to eliminate a 1967 joint powers agreement (JPA). The JPA paved the way for the L.A. airport agency to operate the facility and take ownership, which it did in 1985 at little cost.
Ontario officials say L.A. has mismanaged the airport, which has seen passenger volumes drop from seven million to four million last year.
But L.A. officials contend the recent recession forced operators to cut service and relocate flights to bigger airports.
Both Ontario and L.A. officials plan to continue negotiations. But the legal claim by the city of Ontario could lead to a lawsuit.