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Maryland firm in deal for new L.A./Ontario air cargo center

Maryland firm in deal for new L.A./Ontario air cargo center

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners on Dec. 3 approved a lease with Annapolis, Md.-based Aero Ontario RFP to develop and manage an international air cargo center at Los Angeles/Ontario International Airport in Ontario.

   The deal is a key component of the city's so-called 'regionalization effort' and is hoped to shift more cargo activity from Los Angeles International Airport to the Los Angeles/Ontario airport, located in the Inland Empire. The city of Los Angeles, through its Los Angeles World Airports agency, operates several airports, including LAX and Los Angeles/Ontario.

   Under terms of the 40-year lease agreement, Aero Ontario, which operates as Aeroterm, will construct nearly 1 million square feet of cargo facilities at the airport location. The first phase of construction is expected to be complete and operational within two years. As part of the agreement, LAWA will receive revenue from the facility in the form of ground rental payments.

   Exact financial details of the lease were not released.

   The new facility, to be named the Pacific Gateway Cargo Center, will provide a central location for interlining, line-haul, forwarding, ground handling and many other cargo-related business operations. The Los Angeles/Ontario airport handles more than 600,000 tons of air freight each year, with 2007 tonnage numbers expected to increase. The Los Angeles/Ontario airport's location astride three major highways is hoped to make the new cargo center a high draw with international shipping firms.

   The lease agreement is subject to final approval by the Los Angeles City Council.