The cost of parking and other services at two of Alaska's busiest airports is scheduled to rise starting Jan. 1, officials said.
The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is also introducing a set of new charges for conferences, trainings and events, which officials say is meant to boost offerings and meet demand.
At the Anchorage airport, most hourly parking rates at the garage and two main lots are projected to increase between 50 cents and $1, according to a public notice issued by the airport this month. The weekly maximum to park in the domestic terminal parking garage will rise from $90 to $96, and the weekly maximum to park in the international terminal lot will rise from $74 to $78.
"The cost of operating the airport continues to go up, as fuel prices and de-icing chemicals and labor prices go up," said John Parrott, airport general manager.
Passengers or visitors can still park the first 30 minutes for free in every lot or garage. Other hourly fees will stay the same -- the cost of parking 1-2 hours in the domestic parking garage, for example, will remain unchanged at $6.
Similar changes are proposed for Fairbanks International Airport. The rate increases are projected to generate between $750,000 and $1 million in revenue between the two airports, Parrott said.
Meanwhile, annual fees for individual commercial passenger vehicles, such as taxis and limousines, are slated to increase from $50 to $75. For the Anchorage airport, tour buses will pay a $150 annual fee, up from $100, Parrott said.
"While I don't discount that those who perform those functions and operate these vehicles are going to see that the rates have gone up, and that's money out of someone's pocket, we do believe that these are fair and equitable increases," Parrott said.
In a first, the airport is also rolling out a rate schedule for special events, such as conferences or trainings. The airport received numerous requests for space over the years but lacked a system for collecting usage fees, Parrott said.
"We wanted to establish some fees that would allow us to accommodate that demand," Parrott said.
He also noted that construction completed on the airport's south terminal in 2008 opened up a spacious and, as of now, under-utilized area on the terminal's upper concourse. Airport master planners are looking at what to do with the space, but in the meantime, it will be available for airport tenants as well as the public.
To calculate the new rates, officials looked at other airports, as well as other venues in Anchorage.
For airport tenants, a two-day conference or training is proposed to cost organizers $500; for non-tenants, or members of the public, $1,000. Events lasting three to seven days are proposed to cost $750 for tenants and $1,500 for the public, respectively.
The airport also plans to charge nonprofits to hold fundraisers in either the north terminal lobby or the upper concourse of the south terminal. Nonprofits that request space for events that do not involve fundraising, such as providing mission-related services, will be able to continue to use the spaces for free.
The Alaska International Airport System is taking public comments on the proposed changes until 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 31. Written comments can be sent to Keith Day, Controller, Alaska International Airport System, P.O. Box 196960, Anchorage Alaska 99519-6960, or delivered in person to Room C-3588, South Terminal, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
Reach Devin Kelly at email@example.com or 257-4314.
Read more details on the airports' rate changes
By DEVIN KELLY