Ontario International Airport (ONT) today celebrates its five-year anniversary of local control.
November 1st, 2021 — Five years ago to this day, leaders of the City of Ontario and San Bernardino County thankfully accepted ownership of Ontario International Airport and proclaimed that ONT would become a vital economic engine for the region and a safe and secure aviation gateway for millions of air travelers.
Those who believed ONT could be a viable alternative for commercial air service in the greater Los Angeles region were proven right. Airlines added new flights and destinations. Air passengers quickly realized the benefits of having easy access to a first-rate gateway closer to home. Shippers utilized ONT’s expansive facilities and cargo hubs, ideally situated in the heart of region’s robust supply chain network.
ONT’s remarkable journey is the focus of a State of the Airport celebration today at the Ontario Convention Center, bringing together city and county leaders, industry executives, airline personnel and other ONT supporters, more than 350 guests in all.
“We knew on that fateful day five years ago that the combination of first-rate facilities, operations know-how and broad local support positioned us well to develop Ontario International into a premier aviation gateway and deliver the air service and amenities that sophisticated air travelers demand,” said Alan D. Wapner, Mayor pro Tem of the City of Ontario and President of the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) Board of Commissioners. “Our team of dedicated professionals transformed Ontario from an airport that had in essence been forgotten or worse disregarded into a thriving low-cost, international gateway for airlines, air passengers and freight shippers alike.”
The Inland Empire airport had languished for much of a decade and eventually became the focus of a campaign to shift control from its previous owner Los Angeles World Airports, the operator of Los Angeles International Airport, to local authorities.
By August 6, 2015, the parties had reached a history-making agreement and on November 1, 2016, transferred ownership of ONT from the City of Los Angeles to a joint authority of the City of Ontario and San Bernardino County. Finally, ONT became the property and responsibility of those closest to it – the elected and appointed leaders who committed to reviving air travel in the Inland Empire, businesses which vowed to support it and the customers who placed their faith in it.
By 2018, Ontario International was one of the fastest growing airports in the U.S. And while the coronavirus pandemic reduced air travel by 90% or more at many airports, ONT has experienced the quickest recovery among airports its size and larger in California. By September, passenger volume was 97% of pre-pandemic levels with domestic travel almost fully recovered.
“We’ve proven that we can compete with larger airports in delivering a high quality, hassle-free customer experience with easy access to our passenger terminals, affordable parking, quick and efficient security screening, spacious gate areas, free and dependable Wi-Fi and dining concessions that feature popular local and national brands,” said Curt Hagman, Chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and an OIAA Commissioner.
Since taking control of ONT, the OIAA has increased the number of airlines operating at the airport by nearly 50% and almost doubled the number of nonstop destinations. Departures climbed from 403 to 460 per week while the number of passenger seats increased from 52,000 to 66,500.
In 2019, ONT welcomed more than 5.5 passengers, the highest total in more than a decade, and for the second consecutive year was the fastest growing airport in the U.S., according to Global Traveler, a leading industry publication geared to business and luxury fliers who travel extensively in the U.S. and abroad. In addition, more than $8 million was invested to rebrand and refurbish dining and retail concessions.
“In the five years since regaining local control of our operations, we’ve created teams to work with airline partners to increase routes. We’ve improved parking, added restaurants, improved infrastructure and maintenance and basically enhanced everything about the passenger experience, taking it all to a whole new level,” said Jim Bowman, an Ontario City Council member and OIAA Commissioner.
The past five years also have brought continued growth in ONT’s cargo operations, which now rank among the Top 10 in North America. Last November, Federal Express opened its new 251,000-square-foot operations center at the airport, and together with UPS, Amazon and other freight haulers processed more than 900,000 tons of incoming and outgoing cargo in 2020.
“Our strategic logistics location in Southern California makes this area an international business hub,” said Ron Loveridge, Vice President of the OIAA Board of Commissioners. “With localized control, a growing list of carriers and cargo partners, Ontario International Airport continues to increase its role as a premier passenger and logistics airport not only for California, but nationally and internationally as well.”
“It’s hard to imagine another airport, another region, which has a future as promising as ours,” said OIAA Commissioner Julia Gouw. “Ontario International Airport truly is a prized asset, in a prime location, with a customer base that continues to grow. ONT is the perfect choice for travel to and from Southern California.”
Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce to Lead California Delegation at GITEX GLOBAL 2023 in Dubai
Fostering Technological Synergy: Bridging the Tech Gap with Global Partners
Demonstrating the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce’s (IERCC) commitment to global tech collaboration and innovation, the organization will lead a California delegation to the world-renowned GITEX GLOBAL event in Dubai from October 16-20, 2023. Though the original invitation extended to IERCC’s President & CEO, Mr. Edward Ornelas, Jr., he will not be in attendance. Instead, the California delegation will be spearheaded by the Chamber’s newly-appointed CTO, Mr. Gabriel Rangel.
Organized by the Dubai World Trade Centre, GITEX GLOBAL 2023 promises to be grander than ever. The event is set to host over 6,000 exhibiting companies and startups, drawing more than 170,000 tech and business executives from over 170 countries. The mega-event will sprawl across 41 vast halls and, for the first time ever, will be held at two prominent venues – the iconic Dubai World Trade Centre and the new Dubai Harbour for Expand North Star, making it the host for the world’s largest startup event.
Mr. Edward Ornelas, Jr. commented, “While I regret not attending GITEX personally, I am proud to have Mr. Rangel at the helm of this effort. I’m confident that our delegation will foster new collaborations and present the Golden State as a tech powerhouse.”
This year’s conference adopts the compelling theme of “The Year to Imagine AI in Everything”. Attendees are poised to witness the grandest showcase of AI tech giants and industry frontrunners. Additionally, it promises to kindle profound dialogues and debates concerning the socio-economic implications of burgeoning AI technology.
“Leading the California delegation at GITEX offers us an unmatched platform to nurture and solidify relationships with global tech partners,” said Mr. Gabriel Rangel, CTO of IERCC. “As the technology landscape continues to evolve, it’s critical for us to be a part of these international collaborations. I’m honored to spearhead this mission on behalf of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce.”
An integral part of the California delegation, Mr. Ram Thanapandian, Principal Technology Consultant to the State of California and Chair of CA State Treasurer Fiona Ma’s Technical Advisory Commission, will be present, providing invaluable insights and representing the State of California Treasurer’s Office.
IERCC’s leadership in organizing this delegation underscores the crucial role that California plays in the global tech ecosystem and mirrors Dubai’s ambitious vision as encapsulated in the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33). This strategy aims to substantially expand Dubai’s economic landscape in the upcoming decade, securing its stature among the world’s leading global cities.
Trixie LohMirmand, Executive Vice President of the Dubai World Trade Centre and CEO of KAOUN International, remarked on the invaluable contributions the California delegation will bring to the event. She looks forward to an event marked by knowledge-sharing, collaboration, and pioneering discussions.
For additional information on GITEX GLOBAL 2023, please refer to: GITEX 2023 Preview.
Economist Christopher Thornberg, State Treasurer Fiona Ma Headline New Forecast Conference
Coming October 5th
Economic Horizon 2024: What Lies Ahead?
The Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with Beacon Economics and the County of San Bernardino, is thrilled to announce that the anticipated economic forecast conference, Economic Horizon 2024: What Lies Ahead, Inland Empire? will be held October 5th from 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM at the El Prado Golf Courses in the vibrant city of Chino, California.
Esteemed economist, Dr. Christopher Thornberg will present complete outlooks for the U.S., California, and Inland Empire economies. “The Inland Empire stands at the crossroads of remarkable economic opportunities and challenges,” said Thornberg. “I’m excited to unpack the trends and shifts that will define the region’s economic landscape in the next year, and beyond.”
Known for his razor-sharp observations, and fun, energized delivery, Thornberg’s presentation will include pointed discussions about inflation, the Fed’s next move, housing markets, strengths and instabilities in the economy, and what current trends mean for the nation, state, and local region.
The conference will also be graced by the insights of California State Treasurer Fiona Ma as keynote speaker. In her words, “The strength of California’s economy is deeply interwoven with the growth trajectories of its regions. The Inland Empire, with its dynamism and resilience, is a testament to this synergy. I am honored to join ‘Economic Horizon 2024’ and share a vision where policies, partnerships, and potentials converge to elevate the Inland Empire to unprecedented economic heights.”
“This conference is a testament to the collaborative spirit of the Inland Empire and our commitment to fostering a robust, resilient economy,” said Edward Ornelas, Jr., President of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Our partnership with Beacon Economics and the County of San Bernardino aims to offer a platform for profound economic discussion, forecasting, and strategic future planning.”
Attendees can anticipate not only expert insights into the economy but also networking opportunities and a chance to connect with key business, government, and nonprofit leaders from across the region.
Full event details are available at: economy.iechamber.org
Webb Investments acquires Silver Creek Industries, an industry leader in modular construction for schools
Webb Investments today announced the launch of a new company, Silver Creek Modular, after acquiring the assets of Silver Creek Industries, a highly respected modular construction company known for bringing innovative, sustainable and cost-effective solutions to the education industry.
Silver Creek Industries’ existing business, including its employees and its Perris, Calif., manufacturing facility, will remain with the new company, with Webb providing the investment capital, resources and expertise to enhance Silver Creek’s presence in the modular construction marketplace.
The acquisition closed in June of 2023, following Silver Creek Industries’ Chapter 11 filing in the Central Bankruptcy Court of California.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Silver Creek into our family business, and look forward to building on our shared commitment to improving educational opportunities within communities across our region,” said Kiana Webb, CEO of Webb Family Enterprises. “This acquisition aligns with our strategy to invest in established firms that can help us drive community revitalization and inclusive growth, while improving quality of life and increasing economic output.”
Silver Creek Industries was founded in 2004 and has completed more than 1,000 projects in the education, commercial, medical, military, government and multi-family housing markets. More recently, the company’s focus has been on providing high-quality, sustainable modular buildings for schools and educational institutions. Silver Creek Industries is well known for delivering projects on time and on budget, with minimal disruption to school and the community.
Webb Investments is a privately held, family-owned company focusing on creating a community development ecosystem that drives inclusive, organic growth and transforms the areas they serve.
For more information on Webb Investments, please visit webbinvestments.com.
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