Torres Applauds Senate Passage of Key Bill in ONT Transfer to Local Control
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-Pomona) applauded the Senate’s passage of legislation that will allow for the transfer of Passenger Facility Charges collected at Ontario Airport (ONT) to Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). This legislation is necessary to complete the transfer of LA/Ontario International Airport to local control and has now passed both the House and the Senate as part of a broader bill extending Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs.
“Without this legislation, the long-overdue agreement to transfer control of Ontario Airport could not move forward,” said Torres. “Now that both the Senate and the House have approved this measure, and it is poised to be signed by the President, we have cleared a major hurdle in the transfer process and are one step closer to finally getting local control of our airport.”
As part of the settlement agreement, $120 million of passenger facility revenue collected at ONT is to be used for FAA qualified capital projects at LAX. $50 million of that will come from existing passenger facility fees that are controlled by LAWA but were collected at Ontario. The remaining $70 million will come from future passenger facility charges collected at ONT within the next 10 years. However, Congress needed to pass legislation to allow the transfer of funds from one airport authority to another; otherwise the FAA will not approve the agreement and grant the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) its certificate to operate.
“Ontario Airport is poised to become a major economic driver for the Inland Empire,” Torres continued. “Having a management team in place that understands the region and has only the interests of this airport in mind will help the airport expand and take full advantage of its strategic location and our region’s potential for economic growth. I look forward to the process of transferring control being completed shortly.”
Standalone legislation allowing for the transfer of fees had passed the House of Representatives on June 21, 2016, but was awaiting the Senate’s approval. This measure was then included in H.R. 636, a broad bill extending Federal Aviation Administration programs through September 30, 2017, which passed the House unanimously this past Monday and passed the Senate this afternoon. It is expected to be signed by the President by July 15th.