Free park­ing slashed at NP air­port

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - BRIT­TANY BAKER

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.

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