Business & Economy

Bill passes allowing Los Angeles to transfer Ontario airport

File: Travelers pass through L.A./ Ontario International Airport on the eve of Thanksgiving Nov. 26, 2008 in Ontario.
File: Travelers pass through L.A./ Ontario International Airport on the eve of Thanksgiving Nov. 26, 2008 in Ontario.
David McNew/Getty Images

The United States Senate passed a bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday, which includes a provision allowing the transfer of San Bernardino County's Ontario International Airport out of Los Angeles's control to Ontario's.

The move to put the airport back under local control has been going on for the past four years. The provision was put forwarded by California U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

“This bill will allow Ontario airport to return to local control, a significant victory for the Inland Empire. The transfer will allow the airport to be revitalized and reclaim its role as a driver of economic growth for California,” Feinstein said in a statement.

Feinstein also noted that it had taken two mayoral administrations to make this happen.

The agreement to transfer control from L.A. World Airports to Ontario was announced in August of last year. Ontario agreed to pay LAWA $120 million over 10 years as part of the deal, which is meant to compensate L.A. International Airport for money it collected from passengers to pay for the Ontario airport's new terminal in the 1990s, according to a release.

The provision was needed because Ontario wants to pay the money back through passenger facility charges from future passengers, but without the provision, that kind of transfer between the organizations that run airports isn't allowed.

The transfer will still need to be finalized once the FAA reauthorization is signed into law.