The resumption of passenger service at Palmdale Regional Airport might take years, even decades, if the airline industry cannot recover strongly from the current economic recession, a new report by the Los Angeles airport authority predicts.
"Certain conditions need to return for Palmdale to be deemed viable," said Mike Molina, a spokesman for Los Angeles World Airports, which operates the small facility. "We are certainly not giving up on Palmdale, but the question remains: When will service resume?"
The grim prognosis for the struggling airport was presented Monday to the Board of Airport Commissioners, which sets policy for Los Angeles World Airports, the agency that also operates Los Angeles International Airport, Ontario International Airport and Van Nuys Airport.
Palmdale airport was closed in February, two months after United Airlines canceled its four daily flights to San Francisco. During 18 months of operations, the carrier's planes were less than a third full, well below the anticipated level of 50%.