Rep. Cook Votes for Legislation to Facilitate Ontario Airport Transfer
WASHINGTON - Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today voted for HR 4369, which authorizes the financing of the transfer of ownership of the Ontario Airport from the city of Los Angeles to a new Airport Authority made up of the City of Ontario and San Bernardino County. Rep. Cook joined with a bipartisan coalition of Inland Empire legislators in co-sponsoring this legislation. It passed the house with overwhelming support.
The bill permits the Department of Transportation to authorize the use of a passenger facility charge (PFC) to finance the transfer of Ontario Airport back to local authorities. The fees will help pay off the cost for the two terminals. Under the transfer agreement, the Ontario International Airport Authority will pay Los Angeles World Airports $50 million from passenger facility charges in the first five years; and another $70 million from passenger facility charges in the final five years.
Ontario allowed Los Angeles to operate the airport beginning in 1967 but turned over ownership in 1985. In recent years, the number of annual passengers has dropped from 7.2 million in 2007 to 4.2 million in 2012.
Cook said, “This bill is critical to complete the transfer process of the Ontario Airport back to local control. Without this legislation, we can’t complete the transfer which is critical for the Inland region. I’m confident local control will mean revitalization of the airport which will be good for our economy and good for our residents.”
A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.