Ontario Taps An In-House Candidate For Top Post

After a yearlong search, Ontario International Airport will welcome a new manager next week.

Jess Romo, a Claremont resident who has worked for the city of Los Angeles for 17 years, will take over Monday.

Romo works for Ontario International's parent agency, Los Angeles World Airports, as property manager.

LAWA owns and operates the airport along with Los Angeles International and airports in Van Nuys and Palmdale.

This will be the second time Romo moves into the administrative offices in Ontario.

From 1997 until 2001, he was the airport's property manager.

Kim Ellis, who was acting airport manager last year, will become assistant airport director.

Ellis, who has been at LAWA for more than 17 years, formerly was Ontario International's chief operations manager.

He took the interim director position when former manager Jens Rivera left in April 2005 for the top job at LAX.

Romo and Ellis will lead a growing airport that hasn't quite lived up to its own expectations following $250 million spent to construct two terminals almost eight years ago.

Ontario International, along with air travel nationwide, has bounced back from the staggering blow of Sept. 11 to post record passenger levels each of the past two years.

Ellis said the airport should grow at a healthy clip again this year.

Romo said he plans to focus on the airport's bottom line.

For air carriers, Ontario International is an expensive place to do business.

A stronger financial picture will make it easier for Ontario International to lower costs to carriers and attract new air service, Romo said.

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