Ontario Airport Changes Name to LA/Ontario Int'l

The Los Angeles City Council voted Monday to change the name of the Ontario airport to LA/Ontario International Airport.

The airport, which is owned by Los Angeles World Airports, has been marketing itself as a Los Angeles airport for nearly two years already, but Monday's vote makes the name official.

Harold Johnson, a spokesman at the Ontario airport, said the official name change further cements the airport's location in Southern California.

The change is also designed to avoid confusion among passengers that the airport is located in Ontario, Canada, he said.

Despite the new name, passengers will notice few changes in the short term, said Maria Tesoro-Fermin, also an Ontario spokeswoman. She said the airport has no immediate plans to replace the airport signs because such an expense would likely also have to be approved by the Los Angeles City Council.

"Outside of Southern California, the airport is largely unknown," she said. "Now travelers will know to identify Ontario as being inside Southern California."

The airport code at Ontario will remain ONT, and passengers booking flight reservations will notice little difference because the airport already is included as a Southern California destination online, Tesoro-Fermin said.

The council also voted to change the name of the Palmdale airport to LA/Palmdale Regional Airport.

The Ontario airport had about 7.2million passengers in 2005.

The change came as a surprise to Bill Thurin, former chairman of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

"They've been calling it that for so long anyhow, I guess I just thought it was already the official name," he said.

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