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Ontario International Airport to drop Los Angeles from its name

Ontario International Airport to drop Los Angeles from its name
Passengers at L.A./Ontario International Airport in 2015. The airport will be turned over to local control on Nov. 1 and will change its name to Ontario International Airport. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Ontario, Calif., or Ontario, Canada?

That may be the question airline passengers will be asking soon when booking a flight to the small commercial airport 35 miles east of Los Angeles.

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After years of debate and negotiations, the city of Los Angeles plans to give up control of Los Angeles-Ontario International Airport on Nov. 1 to local authorities.

On that date, the airport will fall under control of the Ontario International Airport Authority, made up of elected and appointed officials from the city of Ontario and other nearby municipalities.

Among other changes, the airport will drop "Los Angeles" from its name, becoming Ontario International Airport.

But aviation experts have warned that travelers may be reluctant to book a flight to an airport if they are confused about its exact location. That is why managers of Bob Hope Airport in Burbank recently began to use the name "Hollywood Burbank Airport" in promotional material.

Ontario International Airport officials realize that the new name could cause some confusion, which could cause it to lose passengers to rival airports.

"That is definitely one of the issues we are looking at," airport spokeswoman Cassie MacDuff said. "We are in the process of branding and creating a logo."

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