St. John's airport increases parking rates

Published on March 24, 2012

As of May 16, travellers can expect to pay a little bit more when they park their vehicles at St. John's International Airport for a short-term stay.

Instead of $1.25 per half hour, users will now pay $1.75 per half hour to make use of short-term parking. All other parking fees will remain unchanged.

The move was made to keep in line with pricing at other Canadian airports, according to Marie Manning, director of marketing and communications with the St. John's International Airport Authority (SJIAA).

"We, on a regular basis, look at all of our rates and fees and compare them with comparable-sized airports across the country to review, and our pricing policy is basically to stay in the middle of the pack for our rates and fees," said Manning, noting this is the first change to parking rates in 10 years.

As a not-for-profit private entity responsible for handling the management, maintenance and development of the airport, Manning said, SJIAA's operating costs have been escalating for years.

"Diesel is up, fuel costs are up, and this year we will be paying $1.5 million in rent to Transport Canada to operate the airport on behalf of our community - those costs continue to increase as well," said Manning.

"As a not-for-profit corporation, obviously our books need to be balanced. Any fees are used to cover our operating costs."

At Halifax Stanfield International Airport, parking lot, users are charged $2 per half hour for the first two hours and $4 per hour beyond the first two. The Greater Moncton International Airport charges $1.50 per half hour for short-term parking. The Charlottetown Airport charges $0.50 per 15 minutes.

In both 2010 and 2011, St. John's set new records for the number of passengers travelling through the airport. Last year, the airport served 1.4 million passengers, a four per cent increase over the previous year's total.

Figures for 2011 have not yet been released for parking revenue, but SJIAA made $2.5 million from parking fees in 2010, almost a 32 per cent increase over the previous year. Parking fees accounted for almost 10 per cent of the SJIAA's revenue for 2010.

Manning estimates the new rate for short-term parking will result in approximately $200,000 in extra revenue.

"Certainly parking revenue is a substantial component of our revenue sources," said Manning.

The airport has a number of plans in place to deal with an expected increase in traffic. By 2020, it expects 1.9 million passengers to travel through St. John's on an annual basis, according to the SJIAA 2010 Annual Report.

To help handle the forecasted growth, the SJIAA is planning to expand the airport's parking lot, which now accommodates 850 vehicles. Twitter: TeleAndrew