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Airports Must Be Made User-Friendly

January 13, 2002

As L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich pointed out, we must have a regional approach to air travel in Southern California ("Spread Out L.A.'s Air Traffic," Commentary, Jan. 8). However, we must have a few large airports, not many small facilities that create dangerous air congestion. It is also unlikely that airlines could or would serve scattered small airports efficiently.

A new airport at the El Toro base in Orange County would not solve this problem. Can you imagine flights to London from both LAX and El Toro? No. However, the airlines could and would provide full service from two or three large regional airports. One reason that Ontario is underutilized is the difficulty of reaching it from most of Orange County. The toll roads have helped, but the missing link is a highway from the end of the toll road at the 91 Freeway directly to the airport at Ontario. Such a route has been discussed for years. It is time to build it.

F. Stephen Masek

Mission Viejo

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Antonovich writes that we should spread out L.A.'s air traffic. That is a great idea, but it seems that everyone is overlooking a better solution. A small group is stopping the changing of the closed El Toro base into an international airport, which would benefit the whole world.

George E. Reese

Los Angeles

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Re "LAX Lot Fee May Hit $30 Per Day," Jan. 8: Great minds at work! If lots are only half full, then raising the rates will a) attract more business or b) result in less business? If airport administrators gouge those now using the lots on the assumption that they will pay almost any price, they will need to maintain a 40% usage to earn the same parking revenues (using the close-in lots as the model). That may happen. But if you want more people to use the lots, you have to lower prices, not raise them. What happened to the notion that the airport was serving the needs of the public?

The rates at other airports are of interest but not part of the decision. And thanks for limiting the shared-ride van services to just a few companies--so they could raise rates by 80%. That made things much better.

Gary Sylvern

Los Angeles

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