ONTARIO (CBS) — A new commercial featuring former Dodger skipper Tommy Lasorda will soon hit local airwaves, urging the return of the Ontario International Airport to local control.

“I firmly believe, without a doubt, that Ontario International Airport should be under local control and not managed from a distant city,” Lasorda said in the City of Ontario-produced ad.

They city debuted “The Moment of Truth” Wednesday night during Ontario’s 2012 State of the City. The commercial is part of a high profile public education campaign to rally support for the transfer of Ontario International Airport (ONT) from the City of Los Angeles.

The airport has been managed by the City since 1967. Since 2006, officials say the Ontario Airport has lost one-third of its passengers partly due to city policies that favor Los Angeles International Airport.

“I believe whatever business you’re in, whether it’s in baseball or the airport business, you have to know when to make the big change,” Lasorda said.

Ontario is prepared to pay for control of the airport, offering a package to the City of Los Angeles that includes a $50 million payout, assumption of all of Ontario’s debt obligations, totaling approximately $75 million, and $125 million in compensation for future passenger facility charges.

The Los Angeles City Council has agreed to consider that matter and have asked for a study to be conducted before a final decision is made. A vote on the potential change in control will not occur for at least 90 days, officials said.


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