ONTARIO, Calif. – October 7, 2017 – The Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) Commission today named Mark Thorpe chief executive officer. Thorpe had been interim CEO since July.
“Mark has been a valued member of the OIAA team for more than a year, having played an integral role in the transition of Ontario International Airport to local control,” said OIAA President Alan D. Wapner. “He understands the Commission’s vision for the airport – one that is low-cost, business friendly and customer focused, not to mention innovative and collaborative in its approach with airport tenants and vendors.
“Most importantly, Mark is committed to transforming ONT into a magnet for economic development in the Inland Empire,” Mr. Wapner added.
Under Thorpe’s leadership, agreements have been reached with Frontier Airlines and China Airlines to bring new airline service to ONT. Frontier’s routes to Denver, San Antonio and Austin, Texas, beginning October 12, with additional service to Chicago O’Hare in early 2018, represent the largest commitment of new air service in more than a decade. China Airlines will launch service between Ontario and Taiwan in spring 2018, marking ONT’s emergence as Southern California’s newest global gateway.
In the three months since assuming the senior leadership position, Thorpe has developed a fiscally sound budget for ONT, shepherded new on-airport advertising and retail agreements with airport concessionaires and expanded the ground transportation program, among other noteworthy achievements.
Thorpe’s efforts have created significant new revenue streams not related to the landing fees and terminal rents paid by airlines, a critical step in ONT’s development as a commercial aviation destination.
In July, ONT announced the extension of a hangar lease with a long-time tenant which will generate more than $5 million in rent payments along with significant capital improvements. New agreements for in-terminal and outdoor advertising are expected to produce $7.6 million in revenues over 10 years, and the addition of app-based ride hailing services to the airport’s ground transportation program will generate additional revenues on a per ride basis.
Prior to becoming interim CEO, Thorpe was the OIAA’s chief development officer. He joined the OIAA in August 2016 with extensive experience in air service development at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Los Angeles World Airports, the former parent agency of ONT. While at LAWA, before the transfer of ONT, Thorpe was instrumental in attracting airline service to Ontario.
The appointment was approved unanimously in a special Saturday session after the Commission conducted a performance evaluation for Thorpe.