Lawsuit is a long time coming - the city of Ontario alleges that L.A. officials have mismanaged LA/Ontario International Airport, which has seen a 40 percent drop in passengers since 2007. Ontario, believing that it can do a better job of increasing air service, wants to regain control of the facility. "Anyone following Southern California airport conditions over the past five years can only conclude that as long as Ontario International Airport's fate lies within Los Angeles' control, the airport's condition will continue to deteriorate to the detriment of the entire region," said Ontario City Councilman Alan Wapner. L.A. says it's willing to give up the facility, but the two cities are miles apart on price. From the LAT:
The lawsuit claims that Ontario International "is at a crisis point" because Los Angeles has strongly emphasized the development of LAX and not lived up to its legal obligations to act in Ontario's best interest. It is alleged that Los Angeles World Airports has failed to lower Ontario's high cost for airlines and has slashed Ontario's marketing budget by at least 90% since 2007. According to the lawsuit, Los Angeles now spends more to market Van Nuys, a general aviation airport. Ontario officials also claim that L.A.'s airport department has not adequately tried to spread the growth of air traffic at LAX to other airports in the region, such as Ontario. Nor, the lawsuit alleges, has it honored a promise by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to pass on to Ontario $7.3 million a year -- the annual savings from closing LA/Palmdale Regional Airport in 2008.