REDMOND, OR -- It will likely cost more to park at the Redmond Airport, in 2019. The number of people traveling through Roberts Field has grown by 75% in the last five years. Raising the parking fee from $10 a day to $15 would provide an estimated $1.5-million a year for projects Director Zach Bass says are necessary due to that immense growth, "Some of these projects include a terminal expansion within the next few years, we’ve talked about two large parking lot expansions, we’re looking at a new operations building, new snow removal equipment for safety on the field. So, this increase would help fund things that the public will see and hopefully increase their experience here."
Bass tells KBND News managing the increase in visitors is a priority, "We’re seeing constrictions on our parking. We’re looking to expand the parking; we’re looking at, in four to five years, building an off-site large lot, if needed. And then, what we’re looking at, not related to parking, is about $85 million in projects over the next seven to eight years. And that $85 million – about $44 million of it is cash, or money that needs to come from the airport, itself. It’s not coming from the FAA or an outside source." He adds, "The debt service annually, for that alone, is $2.4 million. So, even though this rate increase, if it is approved, would help, it still doesn’t cover really the expansions that are needed over the next five, six, seven years." He believes the rest of the money will come from the increase in travelers, "Increase in fees from people flying, people using rental cars, eating at the concessions. All that kind of revenue helps offset those costs of expansion, too. But, parking is a big piece of that."
Redmond’s City Council will next month consider raising the daily parking fee, although the exact amount of the increase hasn't been determined. Currently, drivers pay $1 for the first 30 minutes and $1 for the second 30 minutes, then $2 for each additional hour. Since 2013, the daily maximum has been $10. Bass says the proposal would increase the daily cap, but the hourly rate would not change. If approved, the higher fee would likely take effect in January.