Drivers picking-up or dropping-off passengers at Exeter Airport after Thursday 21 July 2011 will find new charging bands in the short stay car park.
The airport has operated a 10 minute free period in the car park closest to the terminal building from April 2010 with a minimum £2 charge for those staying longer. However, since introduction the airport has monitored the system and found that there was a degree of criticism of the tariff which meant drivers collecting passengers from flights were often just over the 10 minute period and required to pay the minimum fee of £2.
In order to offer a fairer system and help maintain the facility, from Thursday a free 10 minute period will only be available at Car Park 4 and passengers wishing to use Car Park 1 opposite the terminal will be charged £1 for up to 30 minutes.
Exeter Airport managing director Jamie Christon said: “When compared to other UK airports, the introduction of our minimum fee is very reasonable. Our short stay car park deals with over 25,000 vehicles per month at peak and as this number continues to increase there is an added strain on the facility.
“Spiralling overheads and the difficult trading conditions within the aviation industry means that we can no longer subsidise the car park through other airport revenue streams. The airport, therefore, needs to raise revenue to cover the costs which include staffing, the barrier system with automatic number plate recognition and surface maintenance.
“Our long term on-site car park charges continue to be very affordable and the majority of our passengers choose to leave their car at the airport whilst they are away. Parking at the airport, rather than being dropped-off, is also a ‘greener’ option as the journeys to and from the airport are halved.
“We are in volume discounted rate discussions with taxi operators and the airport will soon offer our car parks products packaged with other offers such as access to our new executive lounge.”
Staff will be on hand to assist drivers as the procedures are introduced and there will be prominent signs on the approach road. The new information will appear on the website, and travel agents will be briefed so that passengers know about the changes before they arrive at the airport.