Press Room

SMART Airports Conference to bring airport leaders and innovators from around the world to Ontario, California

Posted on: Thu, 07/14/2022 - 05:00

(Ontario, California – July 14, 2022) – Ontario International Airport (ONT) and Southern California’s dynamic Inland Empire will be on the global stage next week as aviation leaders from around the world gather for the 2022 SMART Airports & Regions Conference – one of the aviation industry’s largest and most prestigious annual events.

 

The three-day conference opens Monday, July 18, at the Ontario Convention Center, and will focus on topics ranging from how aviation can inspire new economic opportunities in a post-pandemic world to the role of airports as incubators for innovation in urban development and regional connectivity.

 

“Ontario and the Inland Empire are an ideal location for this global gathering. We have one of the fastest-growing airports in the world, in the heart of one of the most robust populations and economic centers in the U.S. And when it comes to innovative multimodal transportation solutions, no region can match what’s being done here to redefine mobility and access while creating new economic development opportunities,” said Alan D. Wapner, President of the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) and Mayor pro Tem of the City of Ontario.

 

The SMART Airport & Regions Conference is being co-hosted by ONT and the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau (GOCVB). Among the more than 50 speakers and presenters will be several leaders from the two organizations, including Wapner, OIAA Commissioners Ron Loveridge and Curt Hagman, the airport’s Chief Executive Officer Atif Elkadi, Chief Capital Development Officer Michelle Brantley and Chief Commercial Officer Dan Cappell, and GOCVB President and CEO Michael Krouse.

 

The event comes as ONT is in the midst of a historic run that has seen travel volumes exceed pre-pandemic levels for three months in a row, including, in May, the highest number of passengers since the airport’s return to local ownership in 2016. For the past four years, ONT has been recognized by Global Traveler as the fastest-growing airport in the United States, and its role as an economic driver and preferred aviation gateway for millions of Southern Californians is helping to drive significant transit investments across the region. Upcoming projects include zero-emission bus-rapid transit, hydrogen-powered passenger rail and an all-electric-vehicle tunnel from a planned state-of-the-art multimodal transit center.

 

In addition, ONT plays a critical role in the Inland Empire’s emergence as a global goods movement hub, and today ranks among the Top 10 cargo airports in North America.

 

“We have a great story to tell – here at ONT and across this great region we serve. The Inland Empire is now the 12th largest – and fifth fastest-growing – metropolitan area in the U.S., with a quality of life that is unmatched. We’ve prepared ourselves to meet those growth needs, while preserving the convenience and positive customer experience that have become our hallmark,” said Elkadi, ONT’s CEO.

 

“We are thrilled to host this event at Ontario Convention Center and to expose the worldwide attendees to the heart of Southern California’s Inland Experience! Our Convention & Visitors Bureau is here to welcome our visitors and provide information on the amenities and destinations in our region,” said Krouse, GOCVB’s President & CEO.

 

While the SMART Airports & Regions Conference officially opens on Monday, programs and presentations begin Tuesday. A complete agenda is available here.

 

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About Ontario International Airport

Ontario International Airport (ONT) is the fastest growing airport in the United States, according to Global Traveler, a leading publication for frequent fliers. Located in the Inland Empire, ONT is approximately 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles in the center of Southern California. It is a full-service airport which offers nonstop commercial jet service to 33 major airports in the U.S., Mexico, Central America and Taiwan. More information is available at www.flyOntario.comFollow @flyONT on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

 

About the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA)

The OIAA was formed in August 2012 by a Joint Powers Agreement between the City of Ontario and the County of San Bernardino to provide overall direction for the management, operations, development and marketing of ONT for the benefit of the Southern California economy and the residents of the airport's four-county catchment area. OIAA Commissioners are Ontario Mayor Pro Tem Alan D. Wapner (President), Retired Riverside Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge (Vice President), Ontario City Council Member Jim W. Bowman (Secretary), San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman (Commissioner) and retired business executive Julia Gouw (Commissioner).

 

About the Great Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization to promote the cities of Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga, California to visitors nationally and internationally.  As destination experts we provide leisure, meeting groups and meeting professionals with an unbiased, comprehensive resource when booking a tour, convention, meeting or event within the cities of Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga, California.  Ideal for leisure and business travel, the region boasts scenic mountains, deserts, vineyards and metropolitan areas that are both historic and cosmopolitan in character. Under the umbrella of the Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau is the California Welcome Center and several Signature Events to support the overall mission to drive visitors to the region, stimulating economic growth.  The Greater Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau provides the necessary destination support tools to execute a successful experience Visit www.GOcvb.org