|By Marketwire .||
|May 8, 2007 10:50 PM EDT||
PALMDALE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 05/08/07 -- A crowd of more than 300 today witnessed the first landing of a commercial jet airliner in the history of LA/Palmdale Regional Airport (PMD) as part of a Community Open House in advance of the start of scheduled air service June 7.
On board the United Express regional jetliner -- a Bombardier CRJ200 -- were members of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners and other city officials including Bill Rosendahl, a Los Angeles city councilmember and chair of the Southern California Regional Airport Authority.
The CRJ200 aircraft holds 50 passengers in a four-abreast configuration with a lavatory and galley. It has a maximum cruise speed of 534 mph and cruise altitudes up to 41,000 feet for a smooth, comfortable ride.
United will fly two roundtrips a day with the aircraft between PMD and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) where travelers can connect to dozens of domestic and international flights.
"United is delighted to partner with the City of Palmdale and Los Angeles World Airports to give our Antelope Valley customers more convenient access to our global network," said Bill Kramer, managing director of United Airlines.
"We stand behind our commitment by ensuring that every aircraft that takes off and lands at this airport does so safely and on-time," he added.
Palmdale Mayor James Ledford presided at ceremonies held on the PMD tarmac to showcase the newly remodeled passenger terminal and the United Express regional jet. The outreach event was held to familiarize residents with the airport and introduce residents to United's new service.
"This community open house provides a unique opportunity for the public to see the newly remodeled terminal, watch the arrival of the United Express jet and go on-board for a tour of the aircraft," said Mayor Ledford. "By supporting our local airport, residents will encourage more airline service."
"This is a giant step in the right direction," Los Angeles Councilmember Bill Rosendahl said. "The opening of LA/Palmdale Airport is a fundamental part of our regionalization strategy -- it eases the traffic gridlock that chokes our highways and streets and expands air service for our traveling public."
Samson Mengistu, acting executive director of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), said the event at PMD was "history-making" and resulted from "a very strong partnership involving many people and many agencies over many years.
"I would like to particularly acknowledge the leadership and support of Mayor Villaraigosa and Mayor Ledford, Councilmember Rosendahl, the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, Colonel Ronald Hirtle of United States Air Force Plant 42, the Palmdale Wheels Up Coalition, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Transportation Security Administration and United Airlines," Mengistu said.
He said LAWA will soon select a full-time airport manager to oversee airport operations at LA/Palmdale. "Moreover," he said, "we will redouble our efforts to market this wonderful airport to additional airlines throughout the U.S. and we will continue our comprehensive outreach efforts to the business, civic and travel industry communities in the High Desert and beyond."
PMD is located on a 60-acre site at U.S. Air Force Plant 42. It is approximately 60 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles off State Highway 14. LAWA owns 17,750 acres of land adjacent to Plant 42, most of which is available for development. PMD is one of four airports owned and operated by LAWA, a City of Los Angeles department that also owns and operates Los Angeles International, LA/Ontario International and Van Nuys airports.