The Herald Bulletin

March 11, 2013

Indy airport weighs changes to parking operations

The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS —  Indianapolis airport travelers could see changes in premium parking services as airport leaders look for ways to increase the facility’s revenue.

The Indianapolis Airport Authority wants to replace the valet parking area in its 5,900-space parking garage with a “premium” parking area that could charge higher fees, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported.

The airport also has issued a request for proposals for self-parking closer to the sky bridge leading to the terminal.

Parking revenue is gaining importance as air travel declines. Parking generates nearly $40 million a year and is the airport authority’s second-largest revenue source. Valet parking revenue increased last year to $2.4 million, up from $2 million the year before.

Airport board president Michael Wells said the board is reviewing its entire parking operation.

“We’re really just saying, ‘What are the products our customers want?’” he said.

Parking is becoming a key way to increase revenue at airports around the country.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International launched its “eParkingElite” program in 2010 geared toward frequent travelers. Members pay $95 a month for a guaranteed parking space in a special section where capacity is managed.

Boston’s Logan International has a guaranteed parking space program known as Lexus Parking Passport Gold. Members pay a monthly fee, and the airport receives revenue from advertisements placed throughout the airport lot.

Wells said Indianapolis airport officials are also looking at ways to enhance revenue at the airport’s short-term and long-term surface lots.