Kelly Fredericks, CEO of Ontario International Airport, has stepped down from his post 18 months after being hired to lead efforts to re-position the airport as a key transportation player.

Kelly Fredericks, CEO of Ontario International Airport, has stepped down from his post 18 months after being hired to lead efforts to re-position the airport as a key transportation player.

Alan D. Wapner, president of the airport's authority (OIAA), issued a statement announcing Fredericks' resignation July 5 following a meeting of the authority's commission. In it, he hinted at a parting of minds.

"Both the Commissioners and Kelly acknowledge that their approaches to the direction and management of OIAA differ," Wapner said, "and that it would be mutually beneficial to part ways as OIAA moves to the next phase of the airport's development."

The commission appointed Mark Thorpe, chief development officer for OIAA, as interim CEO; Thorpe joined the authority in August and has previously served at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).

Ten months into Fredericks tenure, OIAA officially secured from LAWA long-sought local control of the airport, which was first under joint control of Ontario and Los Angeles in 1967 and then acquired wholly by L.A. in 1985.

From there, the task for officials became to figure out exactly what they had, Fredericks told an audience at the Victor Valley Chamber of Commerce breakfast in May.

Viewing the transfer as a regional economic triumph, officials pledged to reverse declines since 2000 in passenger volume, increase the number of direct flights, attract new airlines and lower fares.

Fredericks had said that early returns were positive: the first quarter report for 2017 showed Ontario exceeded LAX in passenger and cargo growth for the first time in a decade.

Under his leadership, OIAA also announced a $6 million deal to make over concessions in two terminals and revised parking rates, among other moves.

Wapner commended Fredericks for his leadership and for making "significant progress in furthering our mission to make ONT one of the most competitive, efficient, innovative and customer-friendly passenger, cargo and business airports in the United States."

Shea Johnson can be reached at 760-955-5368 or SJohnson@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DP_Shea.