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Bournemouth Airport has changed the arrangements for passengers being picked up and dropped off.
Previously, vehicles dropping off or picking up passengers were not charged for the first ten minutes of parking, but would pay £2.50 for a stay of between 10 to 30 minutes.
From Thursday 14 April, the ten-minute free period will be removed meaning all of these vehicles will be charged £2.50 for a stay of up to 30 minutes. Research undertaken by the airport shows that this will only affect a minority of visitors to the site.
Rob Goldsmith, Managing Director of Bournemouth Airport said:
“Our car parks are conveniently located adjacent to the terminal buildings, and the charges for on-site airport parking are among the cheapest in southern England. For this reason the majority of our passengers choose to leave their car at the airport whilst they are away, and they will not be affected by these new arrangements. However, we know that some people will be disappointed by this change and hope they will understand that this is a commercial decision brought about by the world wide recession and the subsequent downturn in the aviation industry.”
“Despite the economic situation, we have continued to invest over £45 million in redeveloping the airport and have recently been recognised by ACI (the worldwide professional association of airport operators) as the most improved airport in Europe. We are now focussing our efforts on completing the redevelopment programme and providing the region with an airport that offers a greater range of airlines flying to more destinations from one of the most modern terminals in the UK.”
A new team of customer service staff will be on hand to assist drivers as the procedures are introduced. In addition, there will be prominent signs along the airport access road, new information will appear on the Bournemouth Airport website, and travel agents will be briefed so that passengers know about the changes before they arrive at the airport.
In advance of the changes, the car parks at Bournemouth Airport have recently been awarded the ‘Park Mark’ Safer Parking status, having met the stringent requirements of a risk assessment carried out by the Police.
Taxi Drivers aren’t happy about the charges – which will also apply to them. They’re holding a protest at 11am outside the airport on Saturday April 16th, 2011.
Co organiser of the demonstration, Henry Schachter, said:
"We hope to have a substantial number of cars turning up, as well as many Taxis - all of whom are very angry at what they see as a cynical attempt by the airport to extract money from the general public. They are failing to attract airlines to Bournemouth airport so are trying to cover themselves by imposing this arbitary tax.
They have been trumpeting the glories of the new multi million pound facility but did not consider it necessary to provide a drop-off zone for it's travelling customers. By introducing this £2.50 charge they are acting with the same disregard for passengers as Ryan Air charging a pound to use the Loo. We are very angry."