Initially, airports served as basic hubs for land and air travel. These airport car parking lots became a crucial component of an airport’s architecture as air travel got more widespread and airports became busy hubs. As the number of tourists increased, so did the sorts of accommodations that were offered.
In the beginning, passenger fees were the main source of income for airports. This business model has been put to the test over the last 20 years by changing economic conditions and security concerns. As a result, airports are becoming more than just hubs for transportation. To diversify their income sources, several airports now provide stores, restaurants, and services. Airport car parking lots are being pushed to change to accommodate new passenger circulation patterns as use, security, and technology continue to advance.
How airport car parking works
Airport parking comes in a few different primary categories.
Zones for drop-offs and pick-ups
There are pick-up and drop-off areas near the terminal that need curb space. Within a brief time span, generally 15 minutes, vehicles may stand or park. In addition to private vehicles, this area is also utilized by valets, shuttles, limousines, taxis, and ride-hailing services. This area in front of the terminal is also serviced by transportation at certain airports.
Compared to arrival (pick-up) zones, departure (drop-off) zones see reduced motorist “dwell time.” Dwell time is the length of time a vehicle stays in its spot next to the curb. Typically, the only time shuttles, taxis, and private cars need is to unload bags and say farewell to passengers at the curb. More individuals are carrying wheeled or carry-on bags, which reduces dwell time since these passengers don’t need cart rentals.
The only category with greater curbside stay periods is valet services. There is often a designated zone and kiosk for this service.
Cell phone waiting lots
The mobile phone waiting area is a contemporary airport invention. Vehicle stay time in passenger pickup zones is reduced thanks to these airport car parking lots. Once travelers have disembarked and picked up their baggage, the cars that are there to pick them up are waiting outside the main airport. To be picked up, the traveler either messages or phones. Cars do not wait at the curbside since this service is often free. However, short-term parking at the airport might be a challenge for these lots.
Usually, a multi-level airport car parking garage next to the terminal offers short-term parking. The most expensive hourly rate is offered for airport parking there. Those who are leaving their party off at the airport or those who are arriving at the terminal to greet them on arrival often choose to do this.
The public may be able to access restaurants, services, or stores at airports, which are increasingly becoming more than simply a place to change planes. Therefore, sometimes it is in the airport’s best interests to lower the cost of short-term parking. A group might show up early to utilize an airport service, pick up a present, watch the jets, or have a picnic while enjoying the view. To attract travelers, airports are increasingly providing observation spaces and unique activities. Short-term lot charges can decrease as a draw if these activities generate more money than parking does.
Long-term parking is available on-site
In-terminal long-term airport car parking, also known as remote parking, enables a passenger to keep their vehicle at the airport during their journey. The majority of the customers at these lots are business travelers. From the long-term parking area, shuttles transport people to the airport entrance. As an alternative, passengers in a rush may use curbside valet service at the exits. Long-term parking lots, in certain cases, include valet services such as vehicle washes, detailing, fill-ups, and oil changes.
Employees sometimes utilize long-term airport parking when there isn’t a designated staff lot at the airport. Passes are often offered on a weekly, monthly, or subscription basis. Some parking lots provide discounts for early reservations or incentive schemes for consistent usage.
Offsite long-term parking
Long-term off-site airport parking is accessible near major airports. These are managed by independent businesses that are not connected to the airport. It’s not always cheaper to pay than to park on-site, but it’s usually cheaper. Numerous airports may give members of large off-site organizations discounts. In the beginning, off-site airport car parking catered to leisure travelers. These businesses are increasingly competing for business travelers by providing enhancements like concierge services. Airport shuttles are available both ways.