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Flying under the radar: Bob Hope, John Wayne, Ontario and the future of L.A.’s regional airports

An American Airlines plane takes off at LAX International airport in Los Angeles Monday, April 22, 2013.
An American Airlines plane takes off at LAX International airport in Los Angeles Monday, April 22, 2013.
Damian Dovarganes/AP

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L.A.’s regional airports have struggled in recent years to keep up with the number of passengers and airlines flying into and out of Los Angeles International Airport. As a result, more and more people every year are making the long trek to LAX, where they can find more airlines and more flights, rather than flying out of the regional airport that might be closer to home.

Bob Hope International Airport in Burbank, John Wayne International Airport in Orange County, and Ontario International Airport are three of the regional hubs in the Los Angeles area who have been working to continue drawing passengers and airlines to fly with them. A recent article in the L.A. Times suggested that Bob Hope International Airport was considering changing its name back to Hollywood Burbank Airport, in the hopes of highlighting its proximity to Hollywood and the film and television studios in the area. A spokesperson for John Wayne Airport tells AirTalk that they have seen some growth over the last year, with passenger traffic increasing four percent between last September and this September and aircraft operations increasing eleven percent in that same timeframe. As for Ontario International Airport, they are currently involved in a lawsuit with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the authority that oversees both LAX and Ontario, over an agreement that gives control of Ontario’s airport to LAWA.

Which airport do you use when you fly out of the L.A. area and why? What more do you think can be done to keep business up at these smaller airports?


Dan Feger, executive director of the Burbank Glendale Pasadena Airport Authority

Jess Romo, General Manager of LA/Ontario International Airport

Brian Sumers, Airports and Airlines reporter for the trade publication, Aviation Week