Video of near-vacant L.A./Ontario airport paints grim picture

Trash lines the perimeter fences. Millions of square feet of commercial and hangar space are vacant. The arrival area for international passengers has fallen into disuse, and no jetliners stand at the terminal gates.

That is the bleak picture of L.A./Ontario International Airport presented in a new video prepared for Inland Empire officials seeking to obtain the recession-battered facility from Los Angeles.

The film received a screening Monday at a meeting of the Ontario International Airport Authority, which was formed in anticipation of operating the once popular aviation hub that has lost about 40% of its passengers since 2007.

The 3 1/2-minute video tour of Ontario International was shot from the air during the late morning July 2.

It first goes over Terminals 2 and 4 where no aircraft are parked at the jetways for passengers. The tour then proceeds to the empty international arrivals area, an abandoned military facility and vacant buildings once occupied by General Electric, Lockheed and the U.S. Postal Service.

Parking lots are empty or only partly filled. The landscaping has been neglected, and many of the long-empty buildings are run-down.

Authority members said they were dismayed by the dilapidated condition of the airport grounds and the inability of Los Angeles World Airports to find new uses for the facility's abandoned sites.

Representatives of the five-member commission noted, for example, that plans by Aeroterm to develop a 95-acre cargo hub at Ontario ended in a court battle over whether Los Angeles broke an agreement to help market the operation. Aeroterm received a $1.66-million settlement in 2011 and the project was canceled.

"Does Los Angeles have any other facilities in such deplorable condition?" said authority president and Ontario City Councilman Alan Wapner. "It's not accidental mismanagement. It has to be intentional mismanagement."

Officials for Los Angeles World Airports said Ontario's grounds are well maintained and that staff will clean up any trash, which, they contend, is in isolated areas.

Some landscaping in the terminal area is difficult to maintain during the summer, officials added, but any problems will be addressed.


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