Airports and airlines are struggling. Travel reduction, union walkouts, and the Iceland volcanic eruptions all affected the bottom line of airlines this year. If airlines suffer then so do airports. Smaller airports have an even harder time in covering the high costs of operation. Some are trying to cut costs through job reductions and other methods, yet one has decided to offset costs by charging an entrance fee.
Starting in November Durham Tees Valley Airport will be charging people just to walk into the departure areas. The fee will be 6 pounds for each adult and 2 pounds per child. The fee is being called a “passenger facility fee” and will be charged by machines in the terminal area. The machine will issue a ticket allowing admission into departure areas.
This is not a new idea to raise revenue to help a struggling airport. Similar schemes are already in place at other UK airports such as Blackpool, Newquay, and Norwich.
Durham Tees Valley Airport which is owned by Peel Airports sees the passenger facility fee as a much needed resource to fund operations. Craig Richmond, Chief Executive of Peel Airports, said: “It is no secret that all sections of the transport industry have felt the impact of the global recession – and in many respects it has been especially difficult for local airports such as Durham Tees Valley.
“I remain optimistic that the airport has a bright long-term future provided we can meet the current challenges.
“Of course, no-one likes being asked to pay money, but I hope that customers, and indeed the whole local community, will recognize that it is something we have to do if the airport is to be able to move forward.”