An increase in parking rates at Augusta Regional Airport is still a possibility.
Marketing Director Diane Johnston said the Augusta Aviation Commission will be asked again to raise rates beginning in 2014 after the airport’s governing board refused a proposal Thursday from its executive director that included a $1 increase for maximum daily rates in short- and long-term parking lots.
The maximum daily rate for short-term parking would be $10, and long-term $8.
The rate increase was one of five recommended changes for parking operations that focused largely on replacing a management company with internal staffing services.
The commission opposed the management change, and the parking rate increase was thrown out in the same proposal.
“I would think they will probably agree to it, but you never know,” Johnston said about asking again for a rate increase. “Obviously, they didn’t accept the recommendation today.”
The recommendation called for the airport to hire a director to oversee parking, ground transportation, two supervisory positions and up to 20 part-time positions.
The parking rate increase would add at least $100,000 in revenue annually.
The parking lots generate nearly $2 million a year, representing 20 percent of the airport’s net operating revenues.
“This is purely an attempt to maximize our profits,” airport Executive Director Gary LeTellier told the commission.
Johnston said the rate increase would keep Augusta Regional competitive with other regional airports without inconveniencing customers.
“They’re not going to get anything cheaper anywhere else,” she said.
Parking operations will go out for bid to replace Republic Parking Management Systems when the current contract expires at the end of the year.
In other business, the commission approved a work authorization not to exceed $618,000 for Mead & Hunt Inc. to begin design and bidding services for reconstruction and extension of Taxiway A.
The project cost is estimated at $10 million, with about 90 percent expected to be federally funded, LeTellier said.