Los Angeles World Airport, which operates LAX and LA/Ontario International is totally willing to give up Ontario to the Inland Empire, as long as they pay a crazy high price for it. The LA Times reports that Mayor Villaraigosa and LAWA "have insisted that the once-thriving aviation hub be sold at a price that helps recover the cost of improvements made over the years. Their studies estimate Ontario's fair market value at $243 million to $605 million." But the IE people say the airport actually "has a negative market value due to its severe decline during the recession and its uncertain future" and that the sale terms are totally unprecedented; they say it's actually worth negative $78 to $104 million. Ontario has been struggling for years--it's lost 40 percent of passengers and revenue keeps plummeting (meanwhile, they say LAWA broke a promise to share more air traffic with Ontario). Last year, LA rejected Ontario's bid to take over the airport for $50 million; they also wanted the airport's $70 construction debt retired. Meanwhile, officials have formed the Ontario International Airport Authority in the hopes of putting more muscle behind the takeover plan. An Ontario councilmember and the leader of the efforts says "My biggest concern is that they will give it to us after it has failed." If LA does manage to sell the airport, the funds will have to go to LAX or Van Nuys Airport.
· Inland Empire officials criticize L.A.'s terms on Ontario airport [LAT]
· Ontario Offering $250 Million Package In Exchange For Airport [Curbed LA]