New Airport Parking Already Feeling Squeeze from Increased Traffic

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by October 27, 2010 • 2 comments

Built based on estimated traffic expectations, the parking lot at the new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport is already proving inadequate.  The board has already had to open up a temporary unpaved overflow parking area to ease complaints of not enough parking spaces for travelers.

Despite the oil spill malady over the summer, airport traffic numbers were still significantly up this summer over last year’s travel numbers.  The parking lot at the new airport has just under 1100 parking spots, with roughly 45% apportioned for long-term parking, 20% for short-term parking and the remaining for rental cars and employee parking.

The board is planning for an addition to the existing parking, with bids for construction to go out in the next few weeks.  The parking lot addition will be on the 10 acre lot just to the west of the current parking facility.  Officials are expecting the new parking area to be completed by spring of 2011, just in time for the kick off to the 2011 tourist season.  The new lot will more than likely be used for primarily long-term parking and could as much as double the parking capability at the new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport.  The new parking area will be constructed and opened in phases and should begin construction before the end of the year.

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1 Jim October 28, 2010 at 9:01 am

not merely inadequate, but CONFUSING too !
Barriers in the lots often leave you feeling trapped. I have driven over them a couple of times to just to escape. Rental car exits are very poorly marked and if you choose wrong in a rental, the attendants cannot raise the exit gate…..

Bigger and simpler cannot happen fast enough

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2 Tony May November 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm

We used the new airport for the first time in recent weeks while traveling in and back to Michigan. It is a beautiful facility and a real pleasure. The best part is the convenient proximity to our condo on the beach with only a scenic 20 minute door-to-door cruise through the native pines. Combined with the low fares from Detroit on Southwest, we anticipate making this enjoyable trip much more frequently than in years past.

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