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Tampa International Airport could raise overnight parking rates

A proposal going to the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority on Thursday would raise the maximum daily rate to park at the airport by $2. Hourly rates would remain unchanged.
Short-term parking at Tampa International Airport. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Short-term parking at Tampa International Airport. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Published Feb. 3
Updated Feb. 3

TAMPA — The cost to park overnight at Tampa International Airport could be going up for the first time in five years.

The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority is scheduled to consider a proposal on Thursday that would raise the average daily maximum cost to park by $2. So the cost to park for 24 hours at the airport’s:

• Short-term garage (the one on top of the terminal itself) would rise from $22 to $24 per day.

• Long-term garage (the large garage next to the main terminal) would rise from $18 to $20.

• Economy garage (the remote structure next to the new rental car center and connected to the main terminal by the SkyConnect train) would rise from $10 to $12.

The maximum cost for a day of valet parking would rise from $30 to $32.

If approved, the new maximum daily rates would take effect on April 8. The hourly parking rates at the airport would remain unchanged.

Airport officials are considering the change as the demand for parking continues to grow and drive the need to add to the airport’s 23,000 parking spaces. Since the last rate increase in 2015, the airport has spent $53 million on parking facilities, adding, for example, two more decks at the long-term garage. It projects it will spend another $107 million on parking infrastructure over the next 15 years.

Passenger numbers have grown by nearly 20 percent, with a corresponding demand for garage space, since that last rate increase. The number of people parking at the airport overnight also has grown.

“Parking’s been in high demand,” airport spokeswoman Emily Nipps said Monday. “Even with Uber and Lyft being a bigger presence here, we still see our demand for parking increase, and we expect that to continue.”

As part of the decision to recommend an increase in parking rates, the airport checked similar rates at other airports. Some examples: short-term parking costs a maximum of $36 a day to park at Fort Lauderdale’s airport, $34 per day for long-term parking at Newark, N.J., and $19 per day for economy parking at Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Overall, if the increase goes through Tampa International would remain in the lower quarter of airports for maximum rates for short-term parking and would still be in the lower half for long-term, economy and valet parking.

“Even after the rate adjustment, we believe our prices remain competitive,” Nipps said. “We’re low compared to other large airports, especially considering given the high quality and the convenience of our garages. ... If you use garages at other airports, it’s hard to find the convenience that you find here at Tampa International."

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