Pay more to park
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 was 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.’’
Initial reactions on social media were mostly negative. found most were unhappy with the reduction in free parking from one hour to 20 minutes.
Barbara Smith commented: ‘‘Basically that makes it a drop off and go. Not good, it doesn’t send a positive message to the tourists New Plymouth needs.’’
But Wootton believed the changes were fair and reasonable and he believed people would happily pay for parking, especially when the new terminal was complete. ‘‘Because there will be more to see.’’