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Westchester/Playa Council Supports Local Control of Ontario Airport

The board says under Los Angeles World Airports' management, usage has declined and that boosting passengers there could ease congestion at LAX.

At its monthly meeting, the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa del Rey formally endorsed returning Ontario Airport to local-level management.

Council board members say that Los Angeles World Airports, which has run Ontario since 1967, is responsible for a declining number of patrons using the facility. In the past 10 years, Ontario has seen a nearly 30 percent drop in passengers.

“LAWA hasn’t done it, now let’s give local folks a chance,” board member Denny Schneider said.

Increased traffic at Ontario might alleviate some of the congestion at LAX, board members said.

In its other main action item, the board tabled a letter to LAPD Pacific Division Capt. Jon Peters about the relationship between LAWA peace officers and the Los Angeles Police Department when it comes to responding to incidents at Nielson Field.

Neighbors have clashed in recent years with groups making use of the field. Law enforcement agents have been called to respond to “nuisance and vandalism," but it has been unclear whether LAWA or the LAPD should be responding, the letter states.

The board plans to hold off on sending the letter, however, until a blue ribbon commission called by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa releases a report on how different types of police forces in the city should interact, Schneider said.

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