May 22, 2017
By David Bauerlein
Parking rates at Jacksonville International Airport’s two garages and daily surface lot will increase on June 1, the first increases in airport parking rates since 2011. The rate for economy lots will stay the same.
Flyers using Jacksonville International Airport will pay more to park at the airport’s garages and daily surface lot starting June 1, the airport’s first rate increase for parking since 2011.
The higher parking rates are expected to generate an additional $2 million per year for the Jacksonville Aviation Authority.
The parking rate won’t change at the economy lots, though. The cost still will be $5 per day at those lots, which are farthest from the terminal.
“Best bargain in Florida,” authority CEO Steve Grossman said Monday of the economy lots. “There is no major commercial airport in Florida with rates lower than that. All our other rates are within the mainstream of Florida airports, and lower than some.”
The change in rates will apply to these parking facilities:
• The hourly garage, which is closest to the terminal, will increase to a maximum charge of $20 per day, up from $18 now. But beginning June 1, the authority will make the first 30 minutes free of charge in that garage, so for short-term parking, it’s worth checking out that option.
• The charge for the daily garage, which is next to the hourly garage, will be a maximum of $15 per day, up from $14.
• The daily lot, which is the surface lot immediately behind the garages, also will see a $1 per day increase bringing its cost to a maximum of $9 per day.
The aviation authority built the higher parking rates into the 2017-18 budget approved unanimously Monday by the board during its monthly meeting.
Parking revenue accounts for about one-fourth of the operating revenue the authority expects to collect for the next fiscal year.
The authority’s parking facilities face competition from private businesses that offer park-and-ride lots, as well as the growing use of ride-sharing services such as Lyft and Uber.
The authority reached agreement last month with Lyft to let it operate at Jacksonville International Airport. Lyft pays the aviation authority a fee of $3.25 per pickup for rides that go through the airport.
Grossman told the board he’s confident that talks with Uber will result in a similar agreement for that company to legally operate at the airport.
“It’s a reflection of reality,” he said. “This is what our customers want.”
He said the arrangement with Lyft is the same kind of business relationship the authority has with other businesses that draw customers from the pool of people using the airport.
The 2017-18 capital improvement budget does not have any major construction projects for Jacksonville International Airport. The biggest item is $8.5 million to design and build a new 30,000-square-foot hangar at Cecil Airport on the Westside. Half the money will come from a state Department of Transportation grant.
No tenants are lined up yet for the hangar, but Grossman said that historically, the authority has been able to get the ball rolling and then get a tenant on board by the time construction is finished.
The hangar will be the first one built on the east side of Cecil Airport’s main runway.
“It’s a jumping-off point for development on that side, and we expect we will see future development out there,” Grossman said.