This airport was one of the first flying clubs in the Southern California area back in 1923. Today Ontario International Airport in Ontario California has over six million passengers that pass through it. The original airport was really no more than a landing field and it was about three miles west of what is now the airport. The land was leased from the Union Pacific Railroad. In 1929 the city of Ontario decided to buy thirty acres in the area where the airport is located and thus it became Ontario Municipal Airport.
Just before World War II the city bought another 470 acres which allowed them to build new runways. The Army Air Corps landed their first plane on February 27th. All through the war the airport became a p-38 training base and a P-59 operating base. The name of the airport changed to Ontario International Airport in 1946 when transpacific cargo was transported from it.
The airport was jointly owned with the city of Los Angeles from 1967 until Los Angeles acquired it in 1985. Many improvements have been made to the airport's runways, lighting and taxiways. A new terminal was built in 1998. The name of the airport was changed to LA/Ontario International Airport so it can't be confused with the one in Canada.
Even though the airport has only two runways it is the second busiest in the Los Angeles area. UPS and FedEx Express use the airport as a hub. Large trans-Pacific airliners can land at the airport if the weather is bad in California as Ontario has very long runways. The customs area is inadequate, however, so passengers don't usually disembark. The planes are refueled and then can go back to LAX when the weather clears.
The airport is allowed to operate twenty four hours a day seven days a week because the aircraft can take off without disturbing residents with noise. The airport is only thirty eight miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Other airports in the vicinity are John Wayne Airport, Bob Hope Airport and Long Beach Airport.
There are three terminals at LA/Ontario International Airport. This number will allow for future expansion. If growth occurs there can be two more terminals constructed. Airlines that use the LA/Ontario International Airport are: Aeromexico with destinations to Guadalajara and Mexico City,Alaska Airlines with travel to Seattle/Tacoma, American Airlines serving Dallas/Ft Worth, Continental Airlines going to Houston, and Delta Airlines traveling to Atlanta and Salt Lake City. Delta Connection with operations by SkyWest Airlines also goes to Salt Lake City.
Horizon Air, a partner of Alaska Airlines goes to Portland, Oregon. Southwest has many flights that go to Las Vegas, Nashville, Oakland, Sacramento, Phoenix and San Jose, CA. United Airlines has a small presence with flights to Denver and United Express operated by SkyWest that serves San Francisco. US Airways has Phoenix as a destination.
There are many gift shops, duty free shops, restaurants and lounges for travelers to wait for their flights. Several car rental agencies are on site for travelers that have reached their destinations.