Free parking slashed at NP airport
Free parking at New Plymouth’s airport is to be slashed and higher charges introduced to help pay for the terminal’s $28.7 million upgrade.
From February 12 the one-hour free parking will be cut to 20 minutes and hourly parking costs will go from $1 to $2.
The doubling of the hourly parking fee is to help pay for the multi-million dollar terminal upgrade, airport chief executive Wayne Wootton said.
‘‘We were the only place in the country to offer one hour free parking,’’ he said.
‘‘Now it’s more of a commercial business, we’re trying to align ourselves with other airports.’’
Wootton said there was the potential for the new charges to be reviewed again when the terminal upgrade was finished.
‘‘We’re not going to the full extreme. We’re going to see how it goes.’’
He said other airports charged more and offered less time for free parking.
Palmerston North and Hamilton airports allow for 15 minutes free parking and charge $3 an hour after that. In Wellington the free parking allowance is just 10 minutes and then $2 an hour.
New Plymouth District Council initially approved $19.3m for a new terminal but increased that cost by $9.4m to $28.7m in April when a recommendation was made that the terminal’s footprint be made bigger.
The larger terminal would be funded through airport revenue such as landing charges, tenant rents and car parking fees - not by rates.
The parking charges at New Plymouth’s airport will increase to $2 an hour with a maximum of $16 a day for four days.
Days five and six will decrease to $12 and $11, respectively, and weekly costs will remain the same at $80.