Airport Parking Adapts
As the effects of the pandemic ebb and flow, airports and airport parking operators are working to adapt to every phase. Some are expanding, others contracting. Price changes, policy changes and research continue. Some see traffic returning to normal, others are still facing decreased use.
Pittsburgh International Airport is opening a $7 per day lot with no shuttle service to accommodate increased leisure travel and offer a budget option for travelers flying budget airlines. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Allegheny County Airport Authority, which runs the lot, wants to be able to compete with off-airport parking operations. The distance from the lot to the terminal is a bit of a “hike,” but it can be done in 10 minutes or less.
WKRN.com reports that at Nashville International Airport, passengers who left their cars at an offsite parking lot were stranded when the company’s shuttle service shut down. The company says lack of staff was the issue and offered refunds to the customers who were affected. These included a pregnant woman who landed at midnight and couldn’t access her car until 4:30 AM. Other abandoned passengers hired Ubers, broke into the lot to retrieve their cars and spoke about just wanting to go home.
Residents of the Town of East Hampton will gather for workshops to research and discuss the future of East Hampton Airport, according to Dan’s Papers. City leaders have organized the presentations and want community input for a new vision of the airport including its parking options. In-person and online sessions are offered.
In Bismarck, North Dakota, Bismarck Airport officials are celebrating the airport’s return to pre-pandemic capacity. According to KFYRtv.com, 29,000 passengers went through the airport in July 2019. That number went down by 50 percent after March 2020. For July 2021, there were 22,000 passengers. Those numbers are expected to continue increasing.
In March 2020, just as the pandemic arrived, free airport parking in Wyoming went away. A statute enacted in 1953 required free parking options in places where paid parking was in place. The statute was repealed in March 2020 and parking lots were reassigned in July 2020. Nobody noticed because nobody was going anywhere. The Casper Star Tribune says the statute affected Casper/Natrona County International Airport and Jackson Hole Airport.
Chattanooga Airport’s new $25-million parking garage is open. It will serve 1,300 vehicles, including rental car activities. WRCBtv reports that the new garage is part of the airport’s larger plan to expand.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport’s per-day rate for terminal garage parking will increase from $24 to $27. The Dallas Morning News reports that the airport received more than $611 million in relief grants which it will use to pay debts and share with tenants.
Seattle-area park lovers are celebrating 11 acres of parkland that will not become an employee parking lot for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The Seattle Times reports that the airport’s leadership proposed using two Port of Seattle-owned lots, currently part of an extensive network of mountain biking trails at North SeaTac Park, as part of future expansion. The surrounding community had strong objections to the change and gathered 1,200 signatures for a petition to prevent it.
Off-airport parking providers in Australia are not included in designations that provide pandemic relief grants. Many have joined to form the Australian Industry Group to lobby their cause. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, there used to be 17 off-airport operators in March 2020. Today, there are only nine. Operators say their businesses have been abandoned.
Traveldailynews.com says that the cheapest place for airport parking is an average of $2.50 per day at Denver International Airport. Eppley Airfield’s average price for car parking is $5.50. It costs $5.72 for a parking spot at Jacksonville International Airport; $5.88 at Raleigh-Durham International; and $6.50 at Tampa International. Airports in San Antonia, Memphis and Milwaukee, Miami and Dallas also made the list. Logan International is the most expensive places to park at $21.76 per day. Hartsfield-Jackson International is the busiest airport. Reno-Tahoe is the quietest airport – a nice perk for the neighbors, and your car.
The Detroit Free Press reports that 16 acres of parking at Bishop International in Flint are being used to store thousands of General Motors Pickups. In Texas, according to Texas News Today, unfinished trucks and tractors are parked in various airport parking lots while manufacturers wait for parts delayed by supply chain problems.