The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors this week called on the city of Los Angeles-run L.A. World Airports to give up control of Palmdale's airfield because the city allegedly violated a court order to develop the high-desert facility as part of a regional air-transportation system.
The board approved a motion by Supervisor Michael Antonovich to call on the Los Angeles department, which also runs LAX, to essentially walk away from the Palmdale airport and to pursue possible legal avenues to force the issue. LAWA has a lease on Palmdale's terminal, thus controlling the facility, through next year. Commercial flights to and from Palmdale stopped in 2008.
“Five years ago, the county filed a lawsuit against and obtained a court order requiring LAWA to develop a regional air service approach for County residents that includes utilizing airports at Palmdale and Ontario,” Antonovich stated. “LAWA has violated the court order, ignored several notices of non-compliance, offers no regional strategic plan and continues to hold Palmdale Airport hostage.”
The city has long had plans to turn the facility into a regional hub, and airlines had used it previously, but it was always hard attracting travelers from the L.A. basin to the high desert, even with all the freeway traffic down below.
The city of Palmdale is said to want control of the facility. It's not clear if the county also wants it, or if it's fighting on Palmdale's behalf.