File Photo: Kelly Hayes - Castanet
File Photo: Kelly Hayes - Castanet

Airport parking fees changing

by - Story: 45713

Despite objections from one Kelowna Councillor, parking fees at Kelowna International Airport will be changing as of April 15.

The most significant change is the introduction of free parking for the first 15 minutes in both the short term and long term lots.

"That will take some of the traffic off of our curbside and stop some of the idling we see at the airport," says Airport Deputy Director, Dave Fuller.

"The short term daily maximum will go to $12, which is actually a reduction when you go past two days. The six month pre-purchase Gold Pass Program which is $714 will recognize the frequent users of the airport."

Fuller says the long term daily rate will increase from $5 to $8.

"The caveat on that is we are going to introduce a maximum weekly rate of $42, which is an increase of the $35 presently."

Councillor Andre Blanleil, asked whether this is the right time to be introducing an increase in parking fees, given the current economic situation.

Fuller says the new fees were intended to strike a balance by raising some rates while lowering others.

"What we are trying to achieve is a balancing in our parking lots. The second thing we were looking at is the impact on driving to the airport. We recognize as a regional airport we have to address all of the folks driving to the airport from as far away as Revelstoke, Salmon Arm, down to the border, out to the Kootenays and to Merritt."

He says they didn't want to penalize those people driving from out of town because you have to drive and park.

Blanleil also asked about standards for transportation providers licensed at the airport.

"Are we looking at a certain standard for taxis, certain standard of cleanliness and standard of knowledge in the community?" asks Blanleil.

Fuller says a Superhost type program through Tourism Kelowna is a major objective for 2009.

"I have a meeting with all of the ground transportation firms at the end of this month where we will be tabling that as our key objective this year to address that very concern. Vancouver has a tremendous Superhost program and we are also modelling ours on a program Kamloops introduced last year."

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