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"L.A. Councilmen call for more attention to Van Nuys Airport"

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

L.A. Councilmen call for more attention to Van Nuys Airport
The Los Angeles (CA) Daily News

LOS ANGELES - City airport officials neglect Van Nuys Airport, Councilmen
Tony Cardenas and Mitchell Englander claimed today as they called for a
study on privatizing the airport's management and creating a separate
commission to oversee the facility.

Both steps would give greater attention to the airport, they said.

Cardenas and Englander introduced a motion during today's council meeting
asking city officials to explore the airport's management structure.

Van Nuys and Ontario airports share a part-time manager.

Los Angeles World Airports is an independent city department that manages
its own budget and is primarily funded by fees tied to the number of
passengers that fly in and out of the airports. LAWA manages LAX, Van Nuys
Airport and Ontario International Airport.

The councilmen's request came on the same day Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and
airport officials touted major security initiatives and investment at LAX,
but made no mention of work going on at the other two airports.

Because VNY is the smallest of the LAWA airports and is far from LAX --
where the Board of Airport Commissioners holds bi-monthly meetings -- "LAWA
has had difficulty in addressing proper attention to Van Nuys Airport and
the surrounding community," Cardenas and Englander wrote in the motion.

Van Nuys is not a commercial airport, but still sees about 320,000 visitors
per year. It is primarily used for private, corporate or government travel.

Still, Cardenas said, Van Nuys Airport is one of the busiest general
aviation airports in the country and "is a major economic engine in the
greater Los Angeles region and within the San Fernando Valley."
He cited a 2007 economic study that found that VNY contributed more than
$1.3 billion to the economy and supported 12,300 jobs.

If the motion is approved, officials would have 120 days to report back on
plans to give Van Nuys airport greater attention.

LAWA spokesman Michael Collins said he anticipated the motion would get a
positive reception from the Board of Airport Commissioners.

"The particulars and the shape of a more local governing presence will need
to be debated, but I think they're going to lean forward on this," Collins

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