ONTARIO, CA, March 22 / MARKET WIRE/ --
Highlighting the benefits of aviation to the local economy, LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT) is host to the first annual Southern California Aviation Summit being held March 27 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the airport's historic Terminal 1 building. The summit, organized by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, will highlight the economic benefits of having airports like ONT as a part of the community. Speakers playing a prominent role in aviation will present the opportunities available to aviation-related businesses and international trade.
Featured speakers include Dale E. Bonner, Secretary of Business, Transportation & Housing; aviation expert Jock O'Connell of the Clarkstreet Group; Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) President Phil Boyer; Jim Ream, president and CEO of ExpressJet Airlines; James Previti, chairman and CEO of Guardian Air; Los Angeles World Airports Director of Air Service Marketing Mark Thorpe; and Simat Helliesen & Eichner (SH&E) International Air Transport Consultancy Director Sonjia Murray.
"The aviation summit is an ideal forum to convey information about the benefits of aviation to the community," said ONT Airport Manager Jess Romo.
The summit will explore inland Southern California's role in building a regional solution to air transportation and help develop a long-term vision for aviation in Southern California. Speakers will discuss ExpressJet's move into ONT with non-stop flights to 14 new destinations.
With a growing business base, rising trade relations with Asia, Central and South America, affordable real estate, opportunities for logistics-related businesses to expand, and a growing number of regional attractions, San Bernardino County and the rest of the Inland Empire are driving new demand for air travel and express shipping.
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) is a self-supporting department of the City of Los Angeles, which owns and operates a system of four airports: Los Angeles International (LAX), LA/Ontario International (ONT), LA/Palmdale Regional (PMD), and Van Nuys (VNY). In 2006, LAWA's four airports handled 68 million passengers and 2.7 million tons of cargo a year. In addition, LAWA's airports contribute to an employment base -- directly and indirectly -- of more than 470,000 people and generate nearly U.S. $67 billion annually for the regional economy.
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Rivera will be directly responsible for the daily operations of LAX, including airfield, terminal and emergency coordination operations.
Reaching 7 million passengers is important, but more significant is that the airport has recorded two straight years of record growth.
Officials said it was another step toward the goal of positioning ONT as a major hub for Southern California's air traffic.
In a meeting this week with officials from the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Authority, members expressed enthusiasm about the prospect of an Ontario station, Leon said.