Fines for those who are parking instead of actively loading or unloading in marked zones could increase at Juneau International Airport.
Airport Manager Patty Wahto presented the idea of a rise from a $25 fine to a $100 fine to the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly during a work session Wednesday night.
Wahto explained the airport has analyzed the matter by comparing Juneau’s airport to similar ones and slightly larger ones. Wahto said a few had fines similar to Juneau’s, but the majority of those other airports had asked another question.
“Why aren’t you just towing them?” Wahto said.
Wahto said shortly after 9/11, there was a period when vehicles had to park 300 feet away and had to be screened. The airport eventually got a waiver to allow what currently stands within that zone: a short-term area and a cellphone area.
Assembly member Norton Gregory asked what would happen to the airport if nothing is done and someone from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was there and saw people getting away with parking in active loading or unloading zones.
Wahto said there could be FAA sanctions, including moving the zone back.
“Maybe people feel like they have trouble circling or trouble with the parking zones,” Gregory said. “But, maybe they would feel differently if they had to walk 300 feet.”
Assembly member Maria Gladziszewski said getting the word out may be the most important aspect.
“Maybe there needs to be fliers for when people do this that can be handed to (the violators),” she said. “No one wants an argument.”
Assembly member Beth Weldon explained that she heard a complaint on Wednesday that someone was scolded at the airport for being parked when they were adjusting a car seat.
Airport board member Dennis Harris believes there are three categories of main offenders.
“There are people who are just waiting, people who think the law does not apply to them and people with disabilities or waiting for someone with disabilities,” Harris said.
Harris explained that if people simply call ahead, the airport or airlines will accommodate people with disabilities.
Wahto said it is something that the airport and the CBJ will have to continue to work on, whether it’s getting the word out more or adding personnel.
• Contact reporter Gregory Philson at email@example.com or call at 523-2265. Follow him on Twitter at @GTPhilson.