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Ontario Offering $250 Million Package In Exchange For Airport

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Ontario's bid to take control at LA/Ontario International Airport has been revealed, although the source of the potential money is still pretty mysterious. The city has been angling to take control of the struggling airport from Los Angeles World Airports, which also operates LAX. In January it came out that Ontario had offered LAWA $50 million for the transfer, but now the Daily Bulletin has more of the specifics of the proposal:

-- The package totals $250 million.
-- Ontario would get the title to the airport and operational control.
-- It'd also get "all financial obligations, outstanding debt and liabilities." Debt obligations are currently about $75 million.
-- The city would also "divert $125 million of ONT's future passenger facility charge to LAX." These are individual passenger fees that go toward FAA-approved projects (it's not clear if the FAA will allow this, though).
-- The city isn't saying yet where it'll get the money from. Councilmember Alan Wapner tells the paper "We have the money?It won't take away from the level of service or take away from the general fund."
-- Ontario also wants LAWA "to absorb 'employees back to the system'," as explained by Wapner. That would help drop the airport's cost per passenger.

LAWA Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey tells the Daily Bulletin that the $250 million price is way too low, considering LAWA spent $560 million improving LA/Ontario, sometimes at the expense of LAX. She says that "As for negotiations or terms of transfer, there are no further discussions," although "she would be happy to sit down with the city to discuss how to market the airport." Wapner says Ontario is now talking to the LA City Council, which has asked for a study on the potential transfer.
· Ontario offer for ONT totals $250 million [Daily Bulletin]
· Once LA Voters Learn LA Runs ONT, They Want It to Stop [Curbed LA]