Airport parking rates increase $2

Public comment begins on rates and fees increase

Juneau International Airport commercial users and passenger could see fees increase for a wide array of leasing and services. Parking rates have already jumped $2.

The JIA Board voted Wednesday night to approve parking lot rate increases for short term, long term and long term day rates. The first hour is now $3 and the first two hours, $5. Day rates increased from $12 to $14. As always, the first 15 minutes are free.

“We were woefully low on the hourly rate on the short-term parking and somewhat low on long term,” Board Member Joe Heueisen said.

The rate change is scheduled to take effect May 15.

The board also set in motion a 21-day public comment period on rates and fees changes that could cost some commercial airport users up to 30 percent more in fiscal year 2014.

The proposed increases would touch almost every aspect of commercial operation at the airport — land lease rates, float pond tie-down rates, landing fees aircraft parking rates, fuel flowage fees, access fees, pick-up and delivery fees, rental car lot fees, employee parking fees, fingerprinting fees and a new fee for airport security screening, among others. These increases are needed to balance JIA’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget.

Juneau resident Tom Williams said he was not overly enthusiastic about the rate increases.

“We will be seeing increases of up to 33 percent,” Williams said. “That is a hard bite to take. I’m guessing most of the other operators on the field would say the same thing.”

Williams said that the airport should first shrink expenditures and grow revenues before it makes more rate hikes.

“You can bring people in by keeping costs reasonable, or you will have to ask the people here to pay more and more and more,” Williams said.

It has been more than a decade since the last rate and fee hike at the airport. The board suggested future rate hikes come more frequently and gradually. Commercial users in attendance agreed. However they were vocally opposed to tying the increase to the Anchorage Consumer Price Index.

Kent Craford of Alaska Sea Planes said he was most concerned by increases to the terminal lease fee and fuel flowage fee. He said commercial users won’t always put up with continued cost increases.

“We are here because we want to be,” Craford said. “We are here in some respects because we have to be, but we are never a done deal.

Nighttime airport vehicle traffic will see some delays as SECON Southeast Alaska repaves Shell Simmons Drive and Yandukin Drive over about a month beginning April 22.

The Juneau International Airport is a 24-hour operation, so the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities can only mitigate traffic disruption so much. However, Secon is limited to work between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

Secon is contracted to mill and replace asphalt and improve pedestrian access along these Drives and along Glacier Highway.

A separate paving project is expected to cause float pond users to switch between access roads as Secon paves the area over two or three days.

Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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