Augusta Regional Airport parking rate increase rejected

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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.

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inky 04/25/13 - 07:01 pm
Airport parking increase

You can tell that Airport Executive Director Gary Tellier certainly is concerned about the customers that he serves at Augusta Regional Airport-- "They're not going to get it (parking) cheaper anywhere else" /and "we are purely trying to maximize profits" so he states. In other words, he wants to gouge the people who use the airport as much as possible; and he feels that they can't/aren't going to do anything about it! Well this is one traveler who has had just about enough of Mr. Tellier's ways and the Augusta Regional Airport. The distant proximity of Charlotte and Atlanta-- 2.5 hours either way from me, diminishes exponentially when I hear some local yokel spout off like that. Flying out of Augusta, with hours of layover waiting for connecting flights from either of those cities, is no great treat, in case he is not so aware. The layovers are usually much longer, either direction of the journey, than the time it takes to drive to the airports in those cities. Having many more choices of flights available from various carriers, rather than just the 2 that serve Augusta, and the freedom to leave home at a reasonable time --not at "0 Dark Hundred" from Augusta and have to sit around endlessly at a major airport waiting for your main flight, can greatly outweigh the drive, traffic, and cost associated with flying out of a major hub, especially if Mr. Tellier gets his wish and is successful in his quest to gouge we travelers next year. Augusta Regional is trying to make an airport work in this community; and while the Masters is certainly a boost to their income, the remaining 51 weeks of the year are probably not so great-- so go ahead Mr. Tellier, and drive more people away from Augusta Regional. You have a budget of 10 million dollars to run that airport-- when that starts to dry up as a result of such actions as you profess-- I just hope that you are of sufficient character to admit that your policies and your lowly view of the traveling public had quite a bit to do with that result!!

deestafford 04/25/13 - 08:14 pm
I have seen very few "inhouse" operations run as efficiently

as when a function is contracted out to a private company. With a private company when an employee is not cutting the mustard they are fired. With inhouse quasi-government employees they began to feel the job is "their" job to which they are entitled and they began to act with that "government" attitude. Firing for bad performance is not as easy either. Leave it with a private contractor.

bdouglas 04/26/13 - 08:54 am
I haven't flown out of Bush

I haven't flown out of Bush Field since February, but for the longest time they had all the closest parking lots closed for construction. But the last couple times I was there (a couple months apart, mind you), the close lots were nicely painted and finished, yet still closed. And it's usually pretty easy to find the shuttle golf car to the parking lot, but finding the driver is the real that needs to change, too, if they want to charge more for parking.

LocalGirl 04/26/13 - 12:30 pm
Augusta is a bargain

I fly at least 2 to 3 times a month for work, always out of Augusta. The service I've gotten and the facilities are much better than in many other airports I travel through. The parking cost is a bargain compared to,parking at bigger airports such as Atlanta or Charlotte, and the proximity of parking to the terminal is great, even if you park in the farthest end of long term parking. Just this week, I parked in short era and was just steps from the front door of the airport.

My time is too valuable to waste driving out of town when I can get such good service right here at home. Besides that, who really wants to contend with traffic in Atlanta or Charlotte?? I sure don't.

bdouglas 04/26/13 - 11:19 pm
Also, when US Airways delays

Also, when US Airways delays your connecting flight to Charlotte by a couple of hours, which would cause you to miss your next flight, due to "crew availability" (party too hard last night, crew?)....Charlotte is plenty close to drive to and still make it in time to make your flight. I mean, not speaking from experience or anything...... heh

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