Paid parking will be introduced for the Armidale Regional Airport carpark from 1 May, to improve the availability of parking for airport users and provide a more equitable mix of income for the regional facility.
Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray said the number of people parking at the airport had steadily increased in recent years and at times was at full capacity despite a major expansion of the space last year.
“Many of them are using it as free parking while carpooling and doing business elsewhere. They are locking up a large number of parks for most of the day and often making it difficult for airport users to find a park,” Councillor Murray said.
“Parking fees will also ensure airport users, including a large number of patrons from outside the Armidale region, help contribute towards the cost of operating and maintaining our first-class regional airport.
“The fees have been set at a level that keeps parking affordable, while improving the availability of parking spaces for airport users and helping to share the cost of operating and maintaining our first-class regional airport.”
Fees have been set at $5 per day up to midnight and $10 per day (24 hours) for overnight parking. However, the first two hours are free to allow for pick-ups and drop-offs.
Armidale Regional Airport is the only NSW regional airport with regular passenger services that does not have paid parking.
Cr Murray said: “Council’s decision last year to introduce paid parking, bringing Armidale Regional Airport in line with other facilities in NSW, is just one of the ways we are looking to strengthen the airport’s financial position and enable necessary investment in coming years to maintain and potentially improve service levels and facilities.
“In the past, local ratepayers have shouldered much of the cost of maintenance and upgrades at the airport and we think there is a fairer way to share the load,” he said.
“Armidale Regional Airport provides valuable services and economic benefits for our region and the neighbouring areas and that should be better reflected in how income is generated to operate and improve the facility.
“A high-quality airport is an invaluable asset for a region but they come at a considerable cost and operating expenses at Armidale Regional Airport have exceed its income by about half a million dollars in recent years.”
An education campaign and prominent airport signage will advise airport users and other residents about the new parking fees before and after their introduction.
Published on 15 Apr 2019