Airport parking revenue increases; more users, higher rates credited |

Airport parking revenue increases; more users, higher rates credited

Tom Fontaine

Pittsburgh International Airport’s parking revenue is taking off, thanks to increased passenger traffic, recent rate increases and the expansion of long-term lots near the landside terminal.

The recent increase in parking taxes that West Allegheny School District and Findlay collect from the airport shouldn’t further drive up parking costs for passengers, officials said.

Allegheny County Airport Authority Chief Financial Officer Jim Gill said airport lots, managed by Grant Oliver Corp., generated almost $3.6 million in revenue in October.

“That’s the highest revenue total since they began managing the lots” when the airport opened in 1992, Gill said. He said it surpassed the previous monthly high by more than $200,000.

Those record revenues occurred before the airport finished converting 650 extended-lot spaces into long-term spaces. The spaces opened last weekend, after the section of lot was closed months for renovations.

The addition of long-term spaces means added revenue for the authority: all-day rates for extended spaces are $8, compared to $12 for long-term spaces.

Grant Oliver said 91 percent of the 3,750 long-term spaces were filled yesterday afternoon, compared with 70 percent of the 7,400 extended spaces and 64 percent of the 2,100 short-term spaces.

Rate increases that took effect in June have played a role in increasing revenues. All-day rates went from $21 to $24 in short-term lots and from $11 to $12 in long-term lots.

But the biggest factor, said authority Executive Director Brad Penrod, is the increasing number of passengers. He said long-term lots have sold out 82 times this year, versus 21 times last year.

Officials reported Friday that Pittsburgh’s passenger traffic was up 5.9 percent in September compared to September 2009, the sixth straight year-over-year gain. The only longer period of growth in the 2000s was a 17-month stretch ending the month of the 9/11 attacks. That ushered in a bleak period lasting until April, when year-over-year traffic improved just nine times.

The airport authority approved an agreement to pay West Allegheny School District and Findlay a combined 11.25 percent of parking revenues collected, up from 9 percent.

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