So, what’s going on with Ontario?First off, understand that this is nearly a non-airport. The over-expansion of the LAX airport stunted the commercial development of other LA Basin airports. Ontario, on the far east end of the :LA Basin, is geographically positioned to serve millions of area residents, but these people instead have to drive to LAX. Why? Because more people driving longer on crowded LA freeways is better for airline profit margins. Southwest has an effective monopoly, as the other carriers offer only limited service to their largest hubs. Both UPS and FedEx have large cargo hub operations.
Second, understand that the airport authority has chosen to develop Ontario as the main cargo hub for the LA Basin. And, cargo flights tend to rule the night, especially between midnight and 5AM. Thus, when FAA redefined the arrivals into Ontario, and used the NextGen label to pretend these more impactful routes were ‘high-tech’ and ‘transformational’, they completely ignored the impacts and chose to align the EAGLZ Arrival low over Lake Arrowhead.
Here’s a PDF with some analysis of the 12/18/2017 flight of UPS920, including both the departure track in Kentucky and the arrival route in California:
Click on the image below for a scrollable view; the PDF file may be downloaded.
Ontario is far from a busy airport. In fact, it seems commonly, some of today’s worst abuses happen at airports operating far below capacity, where the airport authority then OK’s activities by an impactful operator. Three other examples include cargo use of Mather [KMHR] near Sacramento, imported students for intensive flight instruction at Hillsboro [KHIO], and skydive use of Longmont [KLMO] in Colorado.