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Freight shipments remained strong at Ontario International Airport in July while COVID-19 impact continued to suppress passenger traffic

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Ontario International Airport freight volume rose 27% year over year in July.

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact operations at Ontario International Airport (ONT) in July as passenger volume decreased by more than 60% while air freight shipments increased nearly 27% compared to July last year.

Ontario has been a focal point in the Southern California supply chain network throughout the pandemic as local residents have increasingly relied on e-commerce to supply their households, leading to higher cargo volumes through ONT. Since the onset of the pandemic, ONT has recorded five straight months of better than 20% increases in cargo tonnage.

In July, commercial freight totaled more than 79,400 tons, an increase of 26.9% from the same month a year ago. In the first seven months of the year, ONT processed more than 500,000 tons of air freight, 21.2% more than the same period in 2019.

Air cargo (tonnage)July 2020July 2019% ChangeYTD 2020YTD 2019% Change
Freight79,43562,56326.97%501,497413,63121.2%
Mail2,0221,78013.57%11,51015,363-25.1%
Total81,45664,34326.60%513,007428,99419.6%

“These are extraordinary times for the air travel industry and airports around the world, including Ontario, are feeling the brunt of the impact of the coronavirus,” said Mark Thorpe, chief executive officer of the Ontario International Airport Authority.

“Though air travel is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon, freight shipments are a great insurance policy for ONT, and we expect they will continue to be a source of strength and optimism for the rest of this year and into the next.”

The number of passengers who traveled through ONT in July totaled more than 176,000, 64% lower than July 2019, though an improvement over recent months. More than 172,600 were domestic passengers while the number of international customers was over 3,600, decreases of 63% and 86%, respectively.

In the first seven months of the year, ONT passengers totaled more than 1.5 million, half as many as the same period in 2019. Domestic passenger volume was more than 1.4 million, a drop of 50%, while international travelers numbered less than 70,000, a decrease of 60%.

Passenger TotalsJuly 2020July 2019% ChangeYTD 2020YTD 2019% Change
Domestic172,605467,990-63.12%1,456,3552,913,914-50.0%
International3,61626,976-86.60%69,377175,414-60.4%
Total176,221494,966-64.40%1,525,7323,089,328-50.6%

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

Transportation

Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce Event to Spotlight Brightline West

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Program will highlight what’s next for high-speed rail in the Inland Empire

High-Impact Event Alert

Brightline West will be featured during the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce’s “High-Speed Rail is Headed to the Inland Empire” event on Wednesday, January 11, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Jessie Turner Community Center in Fontana, CA, which the County of San Bernardino is a title sponsor. The program will feature an update on Brightline West, including the project’s role in regional and statewide connectivity, its benefits to the community, what to expect in 2023, and how the public can stay engaged.

Featured panelists for the program are:

  • Fiona Ma, Treasurer, State of California
  • Ray Wolfe, Executive Director, San Bernardino County Transportation Authority
  • Sarah Watterson, President, Brightline West 
  • Edward Ornelas, Jr., President/CEO, Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Matt Burris, Deputy City Manager of Community Development, City of Rancho Cucamonga

Brightline is the only private provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity passenger rail service in America. The company currently serves Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach in Florida, with its Orlando station beginning service in 2023. Recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel, Brightline offers a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road by connecting city pairs and congested corridors that are too close to fly and too long to drive. Brightline West will build on this award-winning service by connecting Las Vegas and Southern California, with stations in Las Vegas, Victor Valley, Hesperia, and Rancho Cucamonga, and connectivity to Metrolink’s regional rail network.

“This will transform transportation in Southern California and Las Vegas for generations by providing a fast and efficient connection that gets people out of their cars, reduces traffic congestion and decreases air pollution.” -Fiona Ma, California State Treasurer

KEY FACTS:

  • Expected travel time is approx. 2 ¼ hours
  • Our route is 2x faster than driving
  • Zero-emission, electric train sets
  • Expected top speed is 180 mph
  • 400,000 tons of CO2 removed annually by reducing 3 million vehicles
  • Connections to Metrolink and planned future connection to California High-Speed Rail in Palmdale
  • Convenient station location on the Vegas strip (I-15)

For more information and to register for the event, click here.

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Transportation

Rancho Cucamonga and SBCTA Approve Sale of Property for Development of Brightline West Full-Service Transit Station

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Agreement clears path for high-speed passenger rail service in the Inland Empire connecting Rancho Cucamonga, the High Desert and Las Vegas

The City of Rancho Cucamonga City Council and the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) Board of Directors have approved the first step of the sale of a five-acre portion of the jointly owned property at Cucamonga Station to Brightline West. The agreement clears the path for Brightline West to develop the property at the northwest corner of Milliken Avenue and Azusa Court, and build the first high-speed rail station in the Inland Empire connecting Rancho Cucamonga, the High Desert, and Las Vegas. Brightline is the only private provider of modern, eco-friendly intercity rail service in America. The company currently operates between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach in Florida and is scheduled to complete construction to the Orlando International Airport by the end of 2022.

Cucamonga Station will go through a transformation in the coming years, making it the region’s global connectivity point and destination location for everything California has to offer. Transportation modes at Cucamonga Station will provide service through high-speed rail, the Metrolink San Bernardino Line, and Omnitrans Bus Rapid Transit and local bus service, as well as serve carpool commuters. Plans are also moving forward for a sub-terranean loop to Ontario International Airport (ONT), led by SBCTA, where passengers will be transported in just a few minutes between Cucamonga Station and airport terminals. In anticipation of deploying this service, Omnitrans has already launched ONT Connect, a regular shuttle service from Cucamonga Station to the airport that operates daily every 35-60 minutes.

“This agreement is a culmination of several years of working together with our partners and is a key milestone to bring high-speed rail to the Inland Empire,” said John Gillison, City Manager for the City of Rancho Cucamonga. “Cucamonga Station will serve as a global connectivity anchor within the newly branded HART District.”

“We are pleased to take this next important step forward in bringing enhanced transit connectivity to one of the fastest-growing population and economic centers in the country,” said Art Bishop, President of the SBCTA Board of Directors and Mayor Pro Tem of the Town of Apple Valley.

The Cucamonga Station will be strategically located within the HART District – a new transit-oriented, mixed‑use, housing, retail and commercial district that elevates the area into a walkable, culture-rich experience. Located within the area of Haven Avenue, Arrow Route, Rochester Avenue and the Transit station in Rancho Cucamonga, it will serve as a crossroads of food, travel, culture and commerce. The HART District is poised to be the next key economic catalyst in the region. To learn more, go to www.TheHartDistrict.com. The City of Rancho Cucamonga, Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau (GOCVB)Omnitrans, the Ontario International Airport, and San Bernardino County have established a joint effort for the project development and outreach programs. Additional project partners will come onboard as the project continues to move forward through the development process.

The Brightline West Cucamonga Station in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, will be home to the first high-speed passenger rail service in the Inland Empire connecting Rancho Cucamonga, the High Desert and Las Vegas.

Key Points to this Important Regional Project:

  • Third-party analysis by Beacon Economics, a well-respected Inland Empire-based firm
  • Construction is estimated to take three to four years, with ongoing operations beginning in 2026-27
  • More than $300 million dollars in construction spending in Rancho Cucamonga and more than $5 billion dollars in construction spending in San Bernardino County during the next four years
  • Estimated to support nearly 11,000 jobs per year across San Bernardino County and more than 700 jobs per year in Rancho Cucamonga during construction
  • Rancho Cucamonga can expect to receive additional indirect spending in the local economy from the jobs generated particularly during the construction phase
  • Much of the new jobs will be in the construction, architecture and engineering fields
  • The City could receive an additional $1 million dollars per year in property tax/sales tax revenues during the construction (3-4 years)
  • Ongoing operational revenues of another $500,000 per year for Rancho Cucamonga could be possible from local sales and property tax once the station is in full operation
  • Project will stimulate housing demand throughout San Bernardino County during construction and add tens of thousands of jobs (direct and indirect) to the countywide employment base
  • Countywide sales tax should increase near $100 million dollars and more than $70 million dollars from property tax during construction
  • Long-term operational impacts countywide will be in excess of $6 million dollars from property/sales tax
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Transportation

CA Inland Empire District Export Council (CIEDEC) to Present Cal-Mex Aerospace Expo on Sept. 22

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The California Inland Empire District Export Council (CIEDEC), a diverse group of volunteer trade professionals dedicated to helping develop export sales and thus contributing to the national export program, will hold its inaugural Cal-Mex Aerospace Expo on Sept. 22 at the San Bernardino International Airport (SBD).

The expo’s goal is to raise awareness and connect Inland Empire aerospace & defense (A&D) and space manufacturers with the supplier needs of more than 100 companies in the nearby Aerospace Cluster of Baja California, the largest in Mexico. Companies located in Mexicali and Tijuana, Baja California, are just 2.5 to 3.5 hours from companies in the Inland Empire. Due to geographic proximity and the demand for speed to market, Mexico’s nearby aerospace sectors can provide expanding sales opportunities for Inland Empire A&D manufacturers interested in exporting their products, components, machinery, and services.

“CIEDEC is most pleased to organize this strategic collaboration between the Southern California and Baja aerospace industries,” CIEDEC Chairman Bob Spence said. “This is a necessary linchpin in regional cooperation, which is necessitated by our new world order.”

Aerospace industry experts will share updates on trends and policy; export control/International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR); AS9100 certification and upcoming changes; cybersecurity essentials; drone pilot training; an overview of the aerospace sector in Mexico; aerospace export opportunities in Mexico; doing business in Mexico; and a B2B session.

“Aerospace is one of the largest and critically important sectors for our regional and national economies, and we are thrilled to support the District Export Council’s efforts to promote the growth of U.S. aerospace manufactures through cross-border sales opportunities in Mexico,” said Eduard Roytberg, director of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service office in Ontario, California. The Commercial Service is part of the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration.

The speakers will include Tomás Sibaja, president of the Aerospace Cluster of Baja California, Mexico; Senior Commercial Specialist Silvia Cardenas (U.S. Embassy in Mexico City) and Senior International Trade Specialist Erica Ramirez (U.S. Commercial Service in the Inland Empire, California); David Graham, vice president of Aircraft & Component Maintenance at Unical 145/Unical MRO; and Kimberly Benson, president and CEO of Zenaida Global and an administrator for the UAS Center at SBD.

“The Inland Empire and Baja California share common interests and values in this sector,” Sibaja said. “The timing is now to engage our companies in business encounters and venture opportunities.”

SBD is the title sponsor for the expo, supported by the U.S. Commercial Service and the Aerospace Cluster of Baja California. Additional sponsors include IAPMO SCB, Alliance Buyers Group, EMG Global Business Solutions, Inc., Tablemation Solutions, ExIm20/20 Group, and ERS Consulting Services.

“SBD International Airport is pleased to support our aircraft maintenance and aerospace partners around the world,” SBD CEO Michael Burrows said. “This vital industry supports all business lines at SBD and airports across the globe.”

Early-bird tickets are $25 if purchased by Aug. 31, and $35 starting Sept. 1. For tickets, sponsorship, and exhibition opportunities, and more information about the event, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cal-mex aerospace-expo-2022-tickets-376792445347. To learn more about CIEDEC, visit ciedec.org.

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