November 21, 2018 9:43 pm
Updated: November 21, 2018 9:44 pm

Parking fees to rise at Kelowna International Airport

Watch: Many people who fly out of Kelowna International Airport will soon be facing higher costs. YLW is raising parking fees at the end of the month.

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Parking fees at Kelowna International Airport will be going up soon.

On Monday, Kelowna city council rubberstamped a request from the airport to increase parking fees, with the new fees starting Saturday, December 1st. The new fees, according to the city, “will help offset the costs associated with the expansion of parking infrastructure. Fees were last increased on April 1, 2014.”

According to Sam Samaddar, Kelowna’s airport director, YLW has experienced tremendous growth in traffic during the last five years. On Wednesday, he pointed to the parking lot operating at more than 90 per cent full as proof of that.

READ MORE: YLW increases patrols in the wake of parking lot stabbing

Heading into Monday, a report to council broke down the airport’s request and what the proposed fee increases would be. The parking increases are as follows:

  • Valet parking: $15 to $20.
  • Curbside parking: $1.75 per 30 minutes to $2.00
  • Short-term parking, first hour: $1.50 to $1.75
  • Short-term parking, each subsequent hour: $2.50 to $2.75
  • Short-term parking, daily: $18.50 to $21.00
  • Short-term parking gold pass (six months, prepaid): $900 to $1,025.
  • Long-term parking, first hour: $1.50 to $1.75
  • Long-term parking, each subsequent hour: $2.50 to $2.75
  • Long-term parking, daily: $12 to $14
  • Long-term parking, weekly: $62 to $70.

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The report also mentioned that airport passenger numbers increased 38 per cent between October 31st 2013 and October 31st 2018.

“This increase in passenger numbers has resulted in capacity constraints for YLW’s parking infrastructure and increased operational costs. YLW anticipates there will be a need to build additional parking infrastructure in the immediate future, which will result in increased capital costs and further operational costs. YLW is proposing an increase to parking fees effective December 1, 2018, to help offset the costs associated with the expansion of parking infrastructure. The proposed parking fees have been developed in accordance with YLW’s low-cost business model. Parking fees were last increased on April 1, 2014.”

Asked if the new parking prices will help fund parking expansion, Samaddar said “we have an ongoing fund on capital investment for the airport, so we’re going to invest around $5.3 million next year to extend the parking lot at the airport.”

Samaddar said the price hike will raise approximately $160,000 in revenue.

Global News asked airport visitors about the increases. One man, Ted Kadohama of Merritt, said “it’s too expensive now, adding “the more parking would help, but I don’t know. If they would manage their money better, they wouldn’t have to raise their parking rates.”

Two men, Manik Dhir and Terry Sankey, say they both find Kelowna’s rates reasonable in comparison to other airports.

Another, though, Ravinder Dhir, said the rates will be “unreasonable because many people can’t afford (them),” adding “a dollar is reasonable for a half-hour.”

Samaddar said “when you look at airports of our size, in terms of what we charge versus those other airports, we’re actually near the bottom in terms of that fee structure.”

Samaddar also said airport visitors “are encouraged to use alternative methods of transportation to the airport. But you have to look at our catchment area, which is over a half a million people that come from as far away as Salmon Arm to Osoyoos and Oliver, which don’t have good ground transportation access. So we have to look at the entire catchment area, not just the Kelowna region.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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