Ontario International Airport
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Ontario International Airport

Ontario International Airport
Airport typePublic
OwnerCity of Ontario/San Bernardino County
OperatorOntario International Airport Authority[1]
ServesOntario, California / San Bernardino County / Inland Empire, California
LocationOntario, California
Hub forUPS Airlines
Elevation AMSL944 ft / 288 m
Coordinates34°03?22?N 117°36?04?W / 34.05611°N 117.60111°W / 34.05611; -117.60111Coordinates: 34°03?22?N 117°36?04?W / 34.05611°N 117.60111°W / 34.05611; -117.60111
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
ONT is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
ONT is located in California
ONT (California)
ONT is located in the United States
ONT (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
8L/26R 12,197 3,718 Concrete
8R/26L 10,200 3,109 Concrete
Statistics (2019)
Aircraft operations100,479
Total cargo (tons)781,993

Ontario International Airport (IATA: ONT, ICAO: KONT, FAA LID: ONT) is a public airport two miles east of downtown Ontario, in San Bernardino County, California, United States, about 38 miles (61 km) east of Downtown Los Angeles and 18 miles (29 km) west of Downtown San Bernardino. It is owned and operated under a joint powers agreement with the city of Ontario and San Bernardino County.[1]

The airport covers 1,741 acres (705 ha) and has two parallel runways.[2] It is the West Coast air and truck hub for UPS Airlines and is a major distribution point for FedEx Express. ONT currently has more than 64 daily departures and arrivals.[4] Thanks to Ontario's long runways (runway 8L/26R is longer than three of the four runways at LAX), it is often an alternate landing site for large aircraft destined for LAX.[5]



In 1923 a landing field was established east of Central Avenue (3 miles (4.8 km) west of the current airport) on land leased from the Union Pacific Railroad. The airfield was named Latimer Field after an orange-packing company next to the airstrip. An airport was built there by one of the first flying clubs in southern California, the Friends of Ontario Airport. In 1929, the city of Ontario purchased 30 acres (12 ha), now in the southwest corner of the airport, for $12,000, and established the Ontario Municipal Airport.

In 1941 the city bought 470 acres (190 ha) around the airport and approved construction of new runways, which were completed by 1942, with funds from the Works Progress Administration. The 6,200-foot (1,900 m) east-west runway and the 4,700-foot (1,400 m) northeast-southwest runway cost $350,000.[6] On 27 February 1942, an Army Air Corps plane made the first landing at the new airport. By 1943, the airport was an Army Air Corps Lockheed P-38 Lightning training base and North American P-51 Mustang operating base.

After the war, it was one of the five large storage, sales, and scrapping centers for Army Air Forces aircraft established by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation; others were at Albuquerque AAF, New Mexico; Altus AAF, Oklahoma; Kingman AAF, Arizona; and Walnut Ridge AAF, Arkansas.

Ontario International Airport

Aerial view of Ontario International Airport

In 1946, Ontario Municipal Airport was renamed "Ontario International Airport" because of the transpacific cargo flights originating there. On 17 May 1946, two Army surplus steel hangars arrived at the airport, which the Ontario city council had authorized the $50,000 purchase of just the previous week. City officials were pleased to have secured a bargain. Thought to be the only pair available in the U.S., City Manager Harold J. Martin observed that even if they could be acquired at a later date, the cost would be several times that afforded by prompt action.[7] A Pacific Overseas Airlines flight from Shanghai arrived at Ontario on 18 May 1946, "which inaugurated regular round-trip air passenger air service between the United States and the orient."[8] In 1949 Western Airlines began scheduled flights; in 1955 Bonanza Air Lines flights started. Western and Bonanza nonstops did not reach beyond Las Vegas. In 1962 Western began nonstop flights to San Francisco (one Electra daily). In 1967 Bonanza began nonstop F27 flights to Phoenix.

Ontario and Los Angeles entered into a joint powers agreement, making Ontario International Airport part of the Los Angeles regional airports system.[9] In 1968 the airport saw its first scheduled jet flights. In 1969 Continental Airlines started 720B nonstops to Denver and Chicago; Air California started 737 flights to San Jose; Pacific Southwest Airlines started San Francisco flights; and Western began 737 nonstops to Sacramento and Salt Lake City. In 1970 United Airlines started a nonstop to Chicago and American started flights to Dallas (and Chicago, for a short time). In September 1986, Ontario hosted the Concorde supersonic airliner during a promotional round-the-world flight.[10]

In 1981 a second east-west runway, 26L/8R, was built, necessitating the removal of the old NE-SW runway 4/22. Remnants of the 4/22 runway are visible in the present-day taxiways. With the completion of the new runway, the existing runway 25/7 became 26R/8L. In 1985, the city of Los Angeles acquired Ontario International Airport outright from the city of Ontario. In 1987, Runway 26R/8L was extended to the east to bring the two runway thresholds side by side, so aircraft would be higher over neighborhoods. 26R/8L became the main departing runway and 26L/8R the main arrival runway.

For a number of years, the airport operated alongside Ontario Air National Guard Station, which was closed as a result of the 1995 Base Realignment and Closure Commission.

In 1998 the new and larger airport terminal opened, designed by DMJM Aviation.[11] Two older terminals, west of the current terminal, the main terminal and a small terminal were discontinued when the new Terminal 2 and Terminal 4 facilities were opened. The old terminals currently house the administration and the USO.

In 2005 and 2006, Runway 26R/8L was repaved, strengthened, and received storm drains and better runway lighting, and additional improvements to taxiway intersections were made.[12]

In 2006, Ontario International Airport became "LA/Ontario International Airport." The "LA" portion was added to remind fliers of Los Angeles and to avoid confusion with the province of Ontario in Canada.[13]

Recent history

China Airlines Boeing 777-300ER (B-18055) arriving at Ontario Airport

The airport's traffic peaked in 2005 with 7.2 million passengers, and remained steady through 2007. Around the time of the 2008 financial crisis, JetBlue suspended service to ONT, and major legacy carriers significantly decreased their passenger volume at the airport.[14]Southwest Airlines transferred a significant portion of its Ontario capacity to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), making LAX fares more competitive with ONT while being coupled with more attractive frequencies and a wider range of destinations. The surrounding Inland Empire region was hit hard by the financial crisis, with the nearby city of San Bernardino declaring bankruptcy.[15] The airport suffered a 40% decline in traffic between 2007 and 2012,[16] during which time traffic at LAX recovered to surpass pre-recession levels.[14]

Ownership and control of the airport became an issue in late 2010 when the city of Ontario, supported by the Southern California Association of Governments, criticized and questioned LAWA's operation of the airport.[17][18][19] A group of local government officials, led by Ontario city council member Alan Wapner, began a campaign to transfer control of the airport away from Los Angeles World Airports. Wapner argued that the City of Los Angeles had no interest in maintaining service at an airport well beyond its borders.[15] In 2013, LAWA offered to return the airport to local control for a purchase price of $474m, which was rejected.[20] Local groups then sued the city of Los Angeles, a suit that was temporarily suspended when both sides agreed to attempt to work together.[21]

In 2015, Los Angeles World Airports tentatively agreed to turn over ownership of Ontario Airport to the city of Ontario. LAWA was "to be reimbursed for its investments in the facility, job protection for the facility's 182 employees and the settlement of a lawsuit in which Ontario sought to regain control of the airport. Once ownership is transferred, the airport will be operated by the Ontario International Airport Authority, formed under a joint-powers agreement between the city of Ontario and San Bernardino County." The Ontario International Airport Authority took over control of operations in November 2016, and the airport's operating name was reverted to Ontario International Airport since the City of Los Angeles no longer oversaw operations of the airport.[4][22]

The airport's continuing traffic decline reversed in early 2017, when the airport experienced faster growth than LAX for the first time since 2007.[23] On September 30, 2017, it was announced that China Airlines would begin nonstop flights from Ontario to Taipei which started in Spring 2018.[24]


Main corridor of Terminal 2
Arrivals and departures display
An American Airlines Boeing 737 at Terminal 4


Ontario International Airport has two terminals and a separate adjacent international arrivals facility.[25]

Terminal 2 has 265,000 square feet (24,600 m2) and 12 gates.[26]

Terminal 4 has 265,000 square feet (24,600 m2) and 14 gates.[27]

The International arrivals facility has 2 gates for arrivals only, containing the airport's U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility.[28] International flights depart from the main terminals.

A USO is housed in the old terminal complex near the international arrivals facility.[29]

Remote parking is located on the east end of the airport (moved from its former location at the west end). On the east end is a ground transportation center that consolidates the rental car companies in one central location. A circulator bus circles the airport and provides connections to each of the terminals, rental car and remote parking lots, and public transit stops.

General aviation is located at the south side of the airport, although most general aviation pilots tend to use a number of nearby airports: Redlands Airport, Chino Airport, Brackett Field in La Verne, Cable Airport in Upland, or San Bernardino International Airport.

Ground transportation

The airport is about 38 miles (61 km) east of downtown Los Angeles, 18 miles (29 km) west of downtown San Bernardino and 14 miles (23 km) northwest of downtown Riverside. Motorists can use the San Bernardino Freeway (Interstate 10), Ontario Freeway (Interstate 15), or the Pomona Freeway (State Route 60). It is served by Omnitrans bus routes 61, 80 and by private shuttles.[30] Metrolink's Riverside Line runs to East Ontario at peak commuter hours, but is roughly 2.3 miles away from the terminal.

The Ontario Airport Loop was endorsed by the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority Board of Directors on June 3, 2020. The Boring Company has purposed a high-speed tunnel linking Rancho Cucamonga with Terminal 2.[31]

Noise restrictions

Ontario has few noise restrictions/abatement rules, unlike other Southern California airports such as John Wayne Airport, Bob Hope Airport, Long Beach Airport, and San Diego International Airport, which all have very strict policies.[32] The airport is allowed to operate 24/7, but during the hours of 10 pm to 7 am all aircraft must arrive from the east on runway 26L or 26R and take-off to the east on runway 8R or 8L, depending on ATC instruction. This procedure is known as "Contra-Flow" operations and applies to turbo-jet or turbo-fan aircraft. This procedure is similar to the one employed by LAX, where all landings are conducted from the east and all takeoffs are to the west (known as "over-ocean" operations) between midnight and 6:30 a.m. Both of these procedures are employed as long as weather and/or construction activity permits. This is done in an effort to be better neighbors and minimize the noise impact to the surrounding communities as much as possible. Residents of cities west of the airport have complained of increased noise as a result of the airport's refusal to abide by noise abatement rules.[33]

Airlines and destinations




Top destinations

Busiest domestic routes from ONT
(August 2019 - July 2020)
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Phoenix-Sky Harbor, Arizona 268,000 American, Southwest
2 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 230,000 American
3 Denver, Colorado 193,000 Frontier, Southwest, United
4 Sacramento, California 183,000 Southwest
5 Oakland, California 165,000 Southwest
6 San Francisco, California 115,000 Southwest, United
7 Seattle/Tacoma, Washington 110,000 Alaska
8 San Jose, California 106,000 Southwest
9 Las Vegas, Nevada 100,000 Southwest
10 Portland, Oregon 80,000 Alaska, Southwest
Busiest international routes to and from ONT
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Taipei-Taoyuan, Taiwan 192,944 China
2 Guadalajara, Mexico 110,925 Volaris

Airline market share

Largest airlines at ONT
(August 2019 - July 2020)
Rank Airline Passengers Share
1 Southwest Airlines 1,993,000 51.63%
2 American Airlines 681,000 18.18%
3 Alaska Airlines 258,000 6.89%
4 SkyWest Airlines 201,000 5.36%
5 Delta Airlines 189,000 5.05%

Annual traffic

Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned) at ONT, 1992 through 2019[47][3][48]
Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers
1992 6,121,623 2002 6,516,858 2012 4,318,994
1993 6,192,035 2003 6,547,877 2013 3,969,974
1994 6,386,000 2004 6,937,337 2014 4,127,278
1995 6,405,097 2005 7,213,528 2015 4,209,311
1996 6,252,838 2006 7,049,904 2016 4,217,366
1997 6,300,862 2007 7,207,150 2017 4,552,225
1998 6,434,858 2008 6,232,761 2018 5,115,894
1999 6,578,005 2009 4,886,695 2019 5,583,732
2000 6,756,086 2010 4,808,241
2001 6,702,400 2011 4,551,875

Accidents and incidents


  1. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 11, 2016. Retrieved 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b FAA Airport Form 5010 for ONT PDF, effective December 20, 2007
  3. ^ a b "Statistics". Ontario International Airport. January 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Airport Information - Ontario International Airport". Flyontario.com. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ "Overseas flights diverted to Ontario Airport due to fog". Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ "Ontario Air National Guard Station". California State Military Museum. Retrieved 2013.
  7. ^ "Ontario Acquires Plane Hangars", The San Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino, California, Saturday 18 May 1946, Volume 52, page 3.
  8. ^ Associated Press, The San Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino, California, Sunday 19 May 1946, page 8.
  9. ^ "QA Ontario International Airport" (PDF). Los Angeles World Airports. p. 2. Retrieved 2016.
  10. ^ "Concorde Arrives at Ontario--5 Hours Late". Los Angeles Times. September 22, 1986. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ "Architectural Glass Design". Aecinfo.com. Archived from the original on March 16, 2005. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ "Ontario International Airport Runway Construction Project To Begin". April 26, 2005. Retrieved 2016.
  13. ^ "Passenger growth at Ontario airport stagnant - Business - PE.com - Southern California News - News for Inland Southern California". Pe.com. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Inland Empire Outlook: Challenges Remain for ONT | The Rose Institute of State and Local Government". Roseinstitute.org. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ a b Witz, Billy (September 2, 2013). "Recession Reverses California Airport's Growth". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ "Report Warns of Steep Traffic Decline at Ontario Airport". KTLA. August 5, 2013. Retrieved 2018.
  17. ^ "Locals Want to Run Ontario Airport". Nbclosangeles.com. Retrieved 2018.
  18. ^ "Ontario: L.A. should relinquish control of Ontario Airport, Daily Breeze". Dailybreeze.com. Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved 2018.
  19. ^ "Regional support for Inland control of Ontario airport, The BizPress". Inlandsocal.com. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved 2018.
  20. ^ "Ontario rejects $474 million offer for airport". Dailybulletin.com. April 11, 2013. Retrieved 2018.
  21. ^ "Los Angeles should work with Ontario on L.A./Ontario International Airport, Sen. Dianne Feinstein says". Dailybreeze.com. December 19, 2013. Retrieved 2018.
  22. ^ Weikel, Dan. "Ontario officials get ownership of international airport and pledge more flights and services - Los Angeles Times". Latimes.com. Retrieved 2018.
  23. ^ "What the latest passenger numbers at Ontario airport did in March that they haven't done in a decade". Daily Bulletin. April 28, 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 4, 2017. Retrieved 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ "Airport Overview - Ontario International Airport". Flyontario.com. Retrieved 2018.
  26. ^ "Terminal 2 Map". Retrieved 2020.
  27. ^ "Terminal 4 Map". Retrieved 2020.
  29. ^ "Bob Hope USO Ontario - The Bob Hope USO". Bobhopeuso.org. Retrieved 2018.
  30. ^ Scauzillo, Steve (April 28, 2014). "Gold Line to Ontario Airport off track; bill withdrawn by author". San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Retrieved 2014.
  31. ^ Scauzillo, Steve (June 4, 2020). "Elon Musk-backed tunnel to California airport gets go-ahead". The Mercury News. Retrieved 2020.
  32. ^ "Noise Management - Ontario International Airport". Flyontario.com. Retrieved 2018.
  33. ^ Dunkle, Brenda. "Meeting Sunday on Ontario International Airport noise". Champion Newspapers. Retrieved 2019.
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Nonstop Destinations". flyontario.com. Retrieved 2019.
  35. ^ "Southwest Airlines Extends Published Flight Schedule Through Jan. 4, 2021". Southwest Airlines. May 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  36. ^ Liu, Jim. "Volaris schedules new US routes from Nov 2020". Routesonline. Retrieved 2020.
  37. ^ "Aloha Cargo 710 ? FlightAware". Flightaware.com. Retrieved 2020.
  38. ^ "Atlas Air 3742 ? FlightAware". Flightaware.com. Retrieved 2020.
  39. ^ "Atlas Air 3527 ? FlightAware". Flightaware.com. Retrieved 2019.
  40. ^ "ABX Air 3407 ? FlightAware". Flightaware.com. Retrieved 2019.
  41. ^ "Kalitta Air 2014 ? FlightAware". Flightaware.com. Retrieved 2018.
  42. ^ "United Parcel Service 2770 ? FlightAware". Flightaware.com. Retrieved 2020.
  43. ^ "United Parcel Service 2274 ? FlightAware". Flightaware.com. Retrieved 2020.
  44. ^ "RITA | BTS | Transtats". Transtats.bts.gov. Retrieved 2018.
  45. ^ "Ontario International Airport Calendar December and YTD" (PDF). flyontario.com. Retrieved 2020.
  46. ^ "RITA | BTS | Transtats". Transtats.bts.gov. May 2011. Retrieved 2017.
  47. ^ "LAX - Welcome to Los Angeles International Airport". Lawa.org. Retrieved 2018.[permanent dead link]
  48. ^ "ONTARIO: Airport passenger, cargo volumes climbed in 2015". Pe.com. January 26, 2016. Retrieved 2018.
  49. ^ Accident description for 43-48315 at the Aviation Safety Network
  50. ^ Accident description for N3166 at the Aviation Safety Network
  51. ^ Accident description for N6383 at the Aviation Safety Network

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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