SOURCE: Los Angeles World Airports

December 04, 2006 21:46 ET

LAWA Renames Ontario International Airport and Palmdale Regional Airport to LA/Ontario International Airport and LA/Palmdale Regional Airport

ONTARIO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 4, 2006 -- The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners today approved to rename Ontario International Airport (ONT) and Palmdale Regional Airport (PMD) to LA/Ontario International Airport and LA/Palmdale Regional Airport, respectively.

ONT is located in of the fastest-growing regions in the United States with an air service market comprised of 3.5 million travelers. However, surveys of corporate travel managers and frequent business travelers based outside of Southern California show that ONT is not well known as a destination in Southern California. In addition, the city name and state identifier "Ontario, CA" often confuse travelers since the province name and country identifier of Ontario, Canada is exactly the same.

Airline and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) officials determined that the name change to LA/Ontario International Airport will make the airport more marketable to inbound business and leisure travelers as a destination in the greater Los Angeles area.

"I am pleased to see the strong push by LAWA to develop the regional airports by creating an identity in Southern California," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

"The City of Ontario has long enjoyed a successful working relationship with LAWA in the marketing, planning and operation of LA/Ontario International Airport," said Ontario Mayor Paul S. Leon. "The name affiliation with Los Angeles will identify Ontario International as a second gateway to the greater Los Angeles area and Southern California for travelers from across the U.S. and the globe."

ONT is located in Southern California's "Inland Empire" region that includes San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. The medium-hub airport handles 7.2 million passengers and 575,000 tons of cargo annually.

In contrast to ONT, only one airline had scheduled commercial service at PMD since 1998. However, LAWA expects scheduled air service to return to PMD in 2007. On Nov. 20, LAWA approved to solicit Request for Proposals to initiate commercial air service at PMD by a major airline or regional carrier affiliate.

"This is a minor change for maximum impact," said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. "Adding LA to the Palmdale and Ontario airports conveys locally that there is a larger regional system for air transportation, better identifies the size of the Los Angeles region, and creates a better linkage between Palmdale and the Los Angeles basin."

PMD is located in the Antelope Valley, in the northeast portion of the City of Palmdale on a 60-acre site on U.S. Air Force Plant 42. The airport features a 9,000 square-foot terminal capable of handling up to 300,000 passengers annually. LAWA owns approximately 17,750 acres of land adjacent to Plant 42, most of which is available for development. The airport is approximately 60 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, off State Highway 14, which is commonly known as the Antelope Valley Freeway.

The new names, LA/Ontario International Airport and LA/Palmdale Regional Airport, will also reinforce the "We Fly as One" LAWA brand among its system of three commercial airports and clearly identify LAWA as an airport operator for the entire greater Los Angeles region.

Los Angeles World Airports is a self-supporting department in the City of Los Angeles which owns and operates a system of four airports: LAX, LA/Ontario International (ONT), LA/Palmdale Regional (PMD), and Van Nuys (general aviation). LAWA's combined airports move 67 million passengers and 2.7 million tons of cargo a year; employ, directly and indirectly, more than 470,000 people; and generate nearly U.S. $67 billion annually into the regional economy.

Contact Information

    Harold Johnson
    (909) 975-5361