May 12 2020

OCBC Infrastructure Committee Welcomes JWA and ONT Airport Execs

On Tuesday, May 12, OCBC’s Infrastructure Committee welcomed Barry Rondinella, Airport Director for John Wayne Airport, and Mark Thorpe, CEO of Ontario International Airport. Both aviation leaders noted that passenger travel has sharply and severely declined and are employing cost-cutting measures, though retaining staff remains a top priority. Mr. Thorpe explained how ONT’s cargo traffic is actually higher during the pandemic, and is finding creative ways to generate revenue, including real estate development and serving as a set for filming. Both experts believe secondary airports might become much more desirable for travelers compared to more crowded airports like LAX. 

Safety remains a top priority. SNA and ONT are investing in hard and continuous sterilization to protect travelers from COVID-19. While checking temperatures at airports is being explored, county health offices do not have the staffing to do this, meaning only the federal government would have the authority and means to operate temperature screenings. Thank you, Mr. Rondinella and Mr. Thorpe, for being strong leaders for SNA and ONT during this uncertain time!

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