From the earliest notification of the $1.2 million project for the new car park, it was stated in multiple Tamworth Regional Council News Items starting in May 2015, that the long term car park would provide “free car parking”.
How could any business think that charging for one car park at the then proposed cost of $18 a day and have an equal item provided for free, within 10 metres of the southern boundary, be a cost effective plan.
This would seem to be a totally flawed cost recovery concept, yet the entire Council regime allowed the idea of free long term car parking to be continually promoted to the public for nine months until the February Council meeting.
Following the Council meeting on the 9th Feb 2016, the Northern Daily Leader of 10 Feb 2016 reported:
“The council debate last night then about a review of airport car parking fees and the consultant’s independent report, which looked at the operation of the airport and the facility’s future, was critical in a number of ways.”
We wonder how much the consultants fee was to state the obvious, that fees had to be charged for the long term car park.
This was the first time that the public were informed that the long term car park was not going to be free.
Then further into this report the following was stated:
“Mayor Col Murray has argued rightly that the fees schedule is similar to that of other regional airports and the rates proposed are fair and on par with other cities.”
Well, let us compare the proposed charges with our two closest comparable neighbours.
Armidale Airport has 10 short term car parks in front of the Terminal which have charges, but the rest of the parking is free, but they have not upgraded their facilities.
The best comparison to Tamworth is Dubbo Airport.
Dubbo charges $9.50 per day for a secure, shaded car park, and they provide the following:
“The secure car park is fully automated and open from 5am to 7.30pm, seven days a week. New vehicles cannot enter after 7.30pm but existing vehicles can exit at anytime.
Features of the secure car park include:
• 87 car spaces (including two disabled spaces) and two motorcycle spaces, with 66 spaces under shade
• A 2.4 metre high perimeter fence
• Automated pedestrian gates
• Single entry and exit gates for vehicles
• Surveillance by CCTV and security patrols.”
Based on these comparisons, we propose that the most Tamworth Regional Council could reasonably charge for parking, based on what they are providing, is $8 per day, $48 per week and $140 per month for the short term and $5 per day, $30 per week and $90 per month for the long term.
This would provide a more than fair return to the Council, our estimate based on industry usage figures and the projected passenger throughput of 180,000 per annum could gross approximately $500,000 per annum, and would not be too big a burden on the users of the airport. This still a huge amount of money on a $1.2 million investment (which was not borrowed but came out of Airport reserve funds).
This figure is still well above the projected income of $345,000 that the consultant recommended, and which the councillors endorsed when they endorsed the proposed fees at the February council meeting.
If the council vote for the $10 and $8 figures at Tuesday night’s meeting, for which there has been no financial figures provided to substantiate these charges, our estimate is that it could gross over $750,000 per annum.
How can this be justified?
The council currently collects from departure, arrival and security check fees $46.55 every time a passenger has a return flight from Tamworth.
According to the new Annual Operation Plan for 2016-2017 currently on display this figure drops to $45.75.
This means that passengers that currently fly in and out of Tamworth contribute $46.55, but if these new car park fees are passed, they will, if they park their car for 3 days in the short term car park, will have to contribute $75.75 to the council.
How can this be fair or equitable?
Tamworth Regional Council media releases:
Airport parking and traffic improvements planned
Monday 18 August, 2014
A plan to introduce a user-pays system for short term car parking at Tamworth Regional Airport is part of a range of work Tamworth Regional Council has proposed to improve traffic flow and parking availability.
Councillors approved the introduction of paid short term car parking as part of the 2014/15 Annual Operational Plan which was formally endorsed in June, but the installation of boom gates and other work needs to be completed first.
The fee structure includes free parking for the first hour followed by a charge of $2.50 an hour to a maximum of $15 a day or $65 a week.
Free parking will remain at the current long term car park on the southern side of Basil Brown Drive.
Tamworth Regional Council Director Business and Events, John Sommerlad, said there has been increasing frustration for some time over the lack of availability of parking spaces during peak arrival and departure times.
‘The issue of not being able to find a car space has been an increasing issue with some air travellers parking their cars in the short term car park for days or weeks instead of using the long term car park,’ he said.
‘Airport users have been raising the issue with Council and we have planned to redesign the car park to overcome the problem.
‘We have to work within the existing footprint of the car parking area and the introduction of parking fees for short term parking is the most effective solution.’
Mr Sommerlad said Council will communicate the new charges and a timeframe for construction soon.
The existing short term car park is closest to the terminal building and is bounded by Basil Brown Drive and Shand Circuit. It includes 174 car spaces for the general public and 34 spaces for use by hire car companies which pay a set annual charge.
The proposed work will include the removal of a building which formerly housed a generator at the Basil Brown Drive end of the existing short term car park, creating room for 18 new car spaces.
There will be a new entry to the short term car park with boom gates installed off Basil Brown Drive near the corner with Packer Street. Boom gates will also be used to create a separate area for hire cars.
A covered walkway will be built from the terminal through the short term car park to the long term car park.
The project has a budgeted cost of $1.1 million and includes the widening of the footpath adjoining the terminal, a new taxi turning area, waiting bays for six taxis, an extended passenger set down zone and two bus bays.
There is the potential in the future to double the size of the long term car park, which currently has 70 spaces, but it is not part of the current proposal.
It is hoped work will be able to start before the end of the year.
Concept plans for airport upgrade on display
Monday 1 September, 2014
Large format printed concept layout plans for car park and traffic improvements at Tamworth Regional Airport are now on display in the foyer of Ray Walsh House, Tamworth.
Last month, Tamworth Regional Council announced a $1.2 million airport upgrade to improve traffic flow and parking availability including the introduction of a user-pays system for short term car parking.
The project includes the widening of the footpath adjoining the terminal to improve the set down and pick up areas, a new taxi turning area, waiting bays for six taxis and two bus bays, improved lighting, installation of closed circuit television surveillance, the addition of 18 spaces to the short term car park (taking the total of spaces to 174) and the installation of boom gates to both the short term car park and the segregated 32-space rental car parking area.
There will also be a covered walkway from the terminal through the short term car park to the long term car park.
Tamworth Regional Councillors approved the introduction of paid short term car parking as part of the 2014/15 Annual Operational Plan which was formally endorsed in June, but the installation of boom gates and other work needs to be completed first.
The fee structure includes free parking for the first hour followed by a charge of $2.50 an hour to a maximum of $15 a day or $65 a week.
Free parking will remain at the current long term car park on the southern side of Basil Brown Drive.
There is the potential in the future to double the size of the long term car park, which currently has 70 spaces, but it is not part of the current proposal.
Tamworth Regional Airport Manager Julie Stewart said construction plans are close to being finalised, but Council was keen to give residents and airport users a chance to see the concept layout plans.
‘There is now a set of concept layout plans at Council’s main office in Peel Street and soon they will also be on display at the airport,’ she said. ‘The project is planned to be completed before June 30 next year, so we hope to start construction before the end of the year.’
Airport carpark upgrade work starts
Friday 29 May, 2015
Airport carpark upgrade work starts Work is expected to start on Monday on a $1.2 million carpark upgrade at Tamworth Regional Airport which will increase the number of parking bays and improve traffic flows.
The project, approved by Council in August last year, includes alterations to the kerbside adjoining the terminal to improve the set down and pick up areas, a new taxi turning area, waiting bays for six taxis and two bus bays, improved lighting, the addition of 18 spaces to the short term car park (taking the total of spaces to 178) and the installation of boom gates to both the short term car park and the segregated 38-space rental car parking area.
There will also be a paved dedicated walkway from the terminal through the short term car park to the long term car park.
The installation of the boom gates will lead to the introduction paid parking at the airport later this year.
Tamworth Regional Councillors approved the introduction of paid short term car parking as part of the 2014/15 Annual Operational Plan which was formally endorsed in June last year, but the installation of boom gates and other work needed to be completed first.
The fee structure includes free parking for the first hour followed by a charge of $3 an hour to a maximum of $18 a day or $65 a week.
Free parking will remain at the current long term car park on the southern side of Basil Brown Drive.
Airport customers are being encouraged to avoid using the carpark closest to the terminal building while the construction work is being carried out and instead use the new carpark accessible from Wilkinson Street and Basil Brown Drive.
Tamworth Regional Airport Manager Julie Stewart said community consultation in September last year about the proposed carpark works revealed there was a good level of support for the improvements.
“Airport users widely acknowledge the need for more parking spaces and this project will increase the capacity of the carpark at the airport,” she said.
Airport car park opening is fast approaching
Wednesday 29 July, 2015
Finding a parking space will be easier at Tamworth Regional Airport from Thursday next week when the first stage of the new $1.2 million car park is expected to open.
Work started on the new car park in June and the first ground resurface will be completed tomorrow.
The asphalting will be done on Monday next week. Line marking will be painted on Wednesday as well as signage and wheel stops installed.
“The first use of the new parking area is expected on Thursday next week,” said Manager Airport and Aviation Development Julie Stewart.
“Airport users acknowledge the need for more parking spaces and this project will increase the capacity of the carpark at the airport and improve traffic flow.
“Until it opens, we continue to ask airport customers to avoid using the short term car park closest to the terminal building and instead use the long term car park accessible from Wilkinson Street and Basil Brown Drive while we complete the work in the short term car park.”
The next stage of the project will include alterations to the kerbside adjoining the terminal to improve the set down and pick up areas, a new taxi turning area, waiting bays for six taxis and two bus bays, improved lighting and the addition of 18 spaces to the short term car park (taking the total of spaces to 178). There is also a paved dedicated walkway from the terminal through the short term car park to the long term car park.
The recent wet weather resulted in some minor delays to the work.
Later this year boom gates will be installed to the short term car park. Tenders for the supply and installation of the boom gates closed yesterday and the assessment process started today.
Tamworth Regional Council approved the introduction of paid short term car parking as part of the 2014/15 Annual Operational Plan, but parking will be free at the airport until the boom gates are installed in about November this year.
The fee structure to be introduced then will include free parking for the first hour followed by a charge of $3 an hour to a maximum of $18 a day or $65 a week. Free parking will remain at the current long term car park on the southern side of Basil Brown Drive.
Car parking now easier at airport
Thursday 6 August, 2015
Tamworth Regional Airport users now have access to 196 car parks following completion of the first stage of the short term car park upgrade.
The work, completed on Tuesday afternoon, added 30 car parks (including two for people with disabilities) close to the terminal.
Another 176 parking bays are available in the fully sealed long term car park south of Basil Brown Drive and accessed from Wilkinson Street. It had 70 parking spaces until an upgrade was completed in May.
Tamworth Regional Council Manager Airport and Aviation Development, Julie Stewart, said it has now made finding a car park easier but it will improve further when the second stage of work on the short term car park is completed in October.
“There is still some inconvenience to airport users as work continues, but it won’t be long until another 149 bays are ready for use,” she said. “Until they are available, we continue to ask airport customers to avoid using the car park closest to the terminal building and instead use the long term car park.”
The removal of a building near Basil Brown Drive, which formerly housed a generator, created room for 18 additional car spaces to the short term car park while the long term car park has more than doubled in size since the start of this year.
“Airport users know there has been a need for more parking spaces and that’s what this $1.2 million upgrade is providing along with improved traffic flows,” Ms Stewart said.
“There will also be better pedestrian access to the terminal with a new dedicated walkway all the way from the long term car park.”
In October this year, boom gates will be installed at a new entry to the short term car park off Basil Brown Drive near the corner with Packer Street and paid parking will be introduced in mid-November. The fee structure will include free parking for the first hour followed by a charge of $3 an hour to a maximum of $18 a day or $65 a week. Free parking will remain at the long term car park.
Tamworth Regional Council is seeking a share of $95 million in funding through the NSW Government’s Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund Regional Airports program.
Tamworth Regional Airport was among 24 regional airports shortlisted in June to make a detailed application for funding by August 31. Its application will detail a proposed multi-million dollar upgrade of the airport including refurbishing the terminal and expanding the main apron.
Airport car park upgrade nears completion
Friday 25 September, 2015
The introduction of paid parking at Tamworth Regional Airport is a step closer after Councillors at this week’s Ordinary Meeting decided to award a tender for the supply, installation and maintenance of equipment to SKIDATA Australasia.
SKIDATA Australasia, formerly Wilson Technology Solutions, has the largest footprint of car park technology installation in the Australian market with Melbourne and Brisbane airports as its two biggest installations.
The company installed Hectronic Parking Meters for Council some years ago and continues to provide ongoing support.
Additional parking bays have been created at Tamworth Regional Airport in recent months as part of a range of parking and traffic improvement work.
Last month, work was completed on the first stage of the short term car park providing 69 car parking bays (including two for people with disabilities) close to the terminal. The second stage of work on the short term car park, expected to be completed in the next two weeks, will add another 110 bays for use.
Work is also expected to start in mid-November on the installation of boom gates at a new entry to the short term car park off Basil Brown Drive near the corner with Packer Street and paid parking will be introduced in late November.
The fee structure will include free parking for the first hour followed by a charge of $3 an hour to a maximum of $18 a day or $65 a week.
Free parking will remain at the 140 bay long term car park south of Basil Brown Drive and accessed from Wilkinson Street. The car park is only a 150m walk from the terminal using a new walkway through the short term parking area. This long term parking area also provides 38 dedicated parking spaces for rental cars.
Set down and pick up (maximum two minutes) immediately in front of the terminal will continue to be available.
Tamworth Regional Council Manager Airport and Aviation Development, Julie Stewart, said the recent works have made it much easier for airport users to find a car park.
“I am confident it will improve further next month when the second stage of work on the short term car park is completed in October and then again once paid parking is introduced,” she said.
“Regular airport users know from experience how car park capacity at the airport had been reached before this work started.
“We have seen many parking spaces near the terminal occupied by vehicles staying for as long as three months at a time. The introduction of boom gates will mean airport users who choose to have the convenience of parking for longer than an hour closer to the terminal will pay to do so. This will free up spaces close to the terminal for short term visitors who wish to park their vehicle for less than an hour to greet or farewell passengers in the terminal.”
Council has budgeted a total of $1.2 million from the Airport Reserve to fund the current car park improvements and the installation of paid car park equipment.
User-pay car park proposal takes flight
Tuesday 9 February, 2016
Tamworth Regional Councillors have tonight decided to introduce a user-pays fee structure for parking at Tamworth Regional Airport to offset the cost of upgrading and improving its facilities.
The proposed fees endorsed by Councillors will be placed on public exhibition for 28 days to allow the community to give their feedback to Council. A report will be presented to Councillors detailing any submissions received before the fees are formally adopted and start to be charged in March.
The proposed fee structure endorsed by Councillors includes up to two hours of free parking to allow passenger pick-up and drop-off in close proximity to the terminal building and then $2 per hour up to a maximum of $15 a day.
A monthly parking pass card is also proposed for regular car park users parking for 28 continuous days. The proposed pass fee of $150 will allow for multiple entry and exits.
Proposed fees for the short-term car park closest to the terminal includes free parking for up to two hours and then $2 per hour up to a maximum of $15 a day. Proposed fees for the long-term car park includes free parking for up to two hours and then $2 per hour up to a maximum of $10 a day.
Council is in the final stages of a $1.2 million project which has created 122 new car spaces at the airport through the extension of the short-term and long-terms carparks and will soon include the addition of a closed circuit television system, provision of free wireless internet and installation of new fencing.
There are now 216 car park bays in the short-term car park adjacent to the terminal including two for people with a disability, while the long-term car park has almost doubled in size to 176 spaces (including 38 dedicated spaces for rental cars).
Other enhancements designed to support the growing regional airport have already been completed including a new bus parking zone, new taxi rank and airport roadway upgrades.
Tamworth Region Mayor, Col Murray, said Council’s ongoing investment in improving airport facilities and infrastructure was essential to ensure it continued to grow to meet additional capacity in passenger numbers.
“Council is continuing to invest in the airport’s airside infrastructure and its terminal facilities because it plays a key role in the region’s economy not only through the aviation industry but also tourism and business travel,” he said.
“The recently announced funding of more than $2.1 million Council secured under the NSW Government’s Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund to strengthen and extend the main apron has come at the perfect time to give us the capacity for more flights and bigger passenger aircraft.
“Having secure, well-lit, readily available car parking close to the terminal is part of the range of facilities airport users expect at a major regional airport and moving to a paid parking system is the logical and financially sustainable way for Council to deliver it.”
In responding to a media report detailing criticism from Tamworth Aero Club, Cr Murray rejected claims that Council has been “secretive, morally, wrong, ham-fisted, backward and discriminatory to regional users”.
“We refute any suggestion that we have been secretive – we have followed due process where a report proposing parking fees has been discussed in the open forum of Council and the proposal determined by Councillors will now go on public exhibition for the whole community to make comment.”
Cr Murray also refuted claims the introduction of fees for parking in the airport’s public car parks would inhibit Tamworth Aero Club’s capacity to trade effectively.
“The club’s representatives are aware there are arrangements in place to cater for its members at no cost to them, and noting their clubhouse does not open until 4pm,” he said.
Tamworth Regional Airport Public Car Park Fees
Tamworth Regional Council is seeking community feedback on its proposed public parking fees at Tamworth Regional Airport. Council has invested to upgrade and expand the existing car park by providing additional car parking spaces, a dedicated walkway including a raised pedestrian area in front of the terminal, upgrades to security by additional CCTV and fencing, and increased lighting. This has required a car park management strategy to be implemented ensuring the facility is developed and managed under a “user pays” cost recovery program. The proposed fees for airport car parking are:
|Short Term Car Park||Long Term Car Park|
|0-2 hours||Free||0-2 hours||Free|
|2-3 hours||$2||2-3 hours||$2|
|3-4 hours||$4||3-4 hours||$4|
|4-5 hours||$6||4-5 hours||$6|
|5-6 hours||$8||5-6 hours||$8|
|9-24 hours||$15||6-24 hours||$10|
|24-48 hours||$15 + hourly rates to a maximum of $15 per day||2 days||$20|
|48-72 hours||$30 + hourly rates to a maximum of $15 per day||3 days||$30|
|3 + days||$30 + $5 per day or part thereof|
Members of the public wishing to make a submission are advised these need to be received in writing by Monday 14 March 2016
More discussions about airport plan
Thursday 12 April, 2016
Tamworth Regional Councillors tonight deferred making a decision on setting airport parking fees until further discussion takes place with tenants about car park access.
The move came after two speakers addressed Council and raised questions about aspects of the report being considered.
Tamworth Aero Club President Adele Mazoudier asked about various operational aspects of the proposed new parking system including how various service providers would access the car parks once paid parking takes effect and boom gates are installed.
Ms Mazoudier asked Councillors to allow further discussion to take place about the Tamworth Aero Club car park before a decision is made.
Garry Richardson, the other speaker, raised questions about the financial analysis provided in the report related to forecast revenue from proposed car parking fees.
A number of councillors agreed the questions raised by both speakers had merit and asked for them to be further investigated by the General Manager and staff before the report is considered.
User-pays fees set for airport carparks
Tuesday 10 May, 2016
Tamworth Regional Councillors tonight balanced the need for financial sustainability and affordability when they set fees to introduce paid parking at Tamworth Regional Airport.
Councillors formally adopted a range of fees which includes lower charges for use of the long term car park than when they first discussed the setting of parking fees at the 12 April meeting.
Tamworth Region Mayor Col Murray has described the fee structure as “fair and affordable”.
“All Councillors agreed that while there is a need to have paid parking to ensure we have the money needed to maintain the newly upgraded car parking facilities and fund further improvements in the future, we have endeavoured to also make the fees fair and affordable for airport users,” he said.
“The fee structure we have set includes free parking for up to two hours in either the short term or long term parking area to allow travelers to be dropped off and picked up without charge.
“When compared to parking fees at other similar sized regional airports our fees are competitive and this was a conscious move by Councillors in consideration of those in our community who travel by air. But at the same time, Councillors also agree that it is reasonable for airport users to pay to park.”
Under the new fee schedule, motorists who park at Tamworth Regional Airport for up to seven days in the long term car park will pay $35 (rather than $48) and the monthly pass for the long term car park with multiple entry will be set at $120 (rather than $150).
All other fees were unchanged from the amounts first proposed in April. They include $60 a week for parking up to seven days in the short term car park and $150 for a monthly pass with multiple entry to the short term car park.
The fee structure allows free parking for up to two hours in either the short term or long term car park with a cost of $2 per hour in either car park for stays longer than two hours. A maximum 24-hour fee of $10 a day applies in the short term car park and $8 a day in the long term car park.
Part of the decision making process for Councillors included their consideration of issues raised by the community when public comments were sought about the proposed user-pays fee structure over four weeks in February and March this year.
A total of 24 written responses were received with all but three expressing opposition to the introduction of parking fees. Concerns about affordability were raised as well as concerns about the lack of alternate transport to the airport. One submission complimented the improvements to parking but asked for more parking for disabled people, one respondent agreed there was a need to charge parking fees but asked for the amount to be lower and one respondent expressed no issue in paying to park but wanted increased security provided.
Since May last year Council has completed $1.2 million of improvements to the airports car parks which created 122 new car spaces plus added security with floodlighting and closed circuit television monitoring.
The new fees are expected to start to be charged before the end of June once the installation of boom gates has been completed. Council will advertise the date at least 30 days beforehand to ensure airport users are aware of the introduction of the fees.
All revenue generated from the car parking fees will be allocated to the Airport Reserve for future maintenance and upgrades of its aviation-related infrastructure.
|Short term parking (Inclusive of GST)||Long term parking (Inclusive of GST)|
|0 – 2 hours||Free||Free|
|2 hours or more||$2 per hour||$2 per hour|
|Max (24 hour) rate||$10 per day||$8 per day|
|Weekly (7 day) rate||$60 per week||$35 per week|
|1 week or more||$60 plus maximum $10 per day and maximum $60 per week||$35 plus maximum $8 per day and maximum $35 per week|
|$150 per month||$120 per month|
Further investment in airport facilities
Tuesday 14 June, 2016
Tamworth Regional Council tonight approved an additional investment of $1,270,200 for car park and forecourt works at Tamworth Regional Airport to improve the customer experience for travellers.
The project includes the installation of bollards to control vehicle access, an upgrade to cameras, data storage and video link for the CCTV monitoring around the precinct, additional lighting in the long term car park, walkway lighting and an automated sliding gate with access control and intercom at the main precinct entrance on Basil Brown Drive.
There is also new street furniture including a bus stop and taxi shelter, terminal forecourt and associated road and drainage works, improved access for service vehicles, signage and line marking.
Tamworth Region Mayor Col Murray said the additional expenditure would allow further development of airport facilities to meet the expectations of both travellers and tenants.
“When Council recently received feedback from the community about the introduction of paid parking at the airport one strong message was the need for improved car park security and this additional spending will fund that work,” he said. “This new work includes the ability for police to access the CCTV footage in real time – which is important to give further confidence to travellers who use the airport car parks.”
Cr Murray said the expenditure approved tonight will further enhance Council’s investment of $700,000 since May last year in developing the airport’s facilities to cater for additional carriers and growing numbers of passengers.
“It will also complement the infrastructure upgrades to be funded using the $3.98 million State Government grant announced in May under the Regional Tourism Fund,” he said.
“This followed the $2.1 million grant Council secured for the airport in December last year in round one of the same fund which was used to strengthen the extend the airport’s main apron to provide the capacity for additional services.”
Cr Murray said the airport is a key community asset which delivers major economic benefits to the Tamworth region both through business and tourism travel and as a hub for the local aviation industry.
“We have increasing passenger numbers and services and it is essential we continue to upgrade facilities to allow us to meet future travel demand which in turn supports the aviation industry service providers we have here and they continue to prosper,” he said.
“It’s important we also continue to improve our passenger experience and enhance the convenience of facilities for travellers from the moment they park their car to the moment the board their aircraft.”
Tamworth Regional Council Business Papers & Minutes:
Business Paper and Minutes for Tamworth Regional Council meeting 9 February 2016
Annexure Consultants Report for Tamworth Regional Council meeting 9 February 2016
Business Paper and Minutes for Tamworth Regional Council meeting 12 April 2016
Business Paper and Minutes for Tamworth Regional Council meeting 10 May 2016
Business Paper and Minutes for Tamworth Regional Council meeting 14 June 2016
Northern Daily Leader Extracts
Airport users pay: car park crush forces $900k facility upgrade
Aug. 18, 2014
THE days of passengers parking for free in the cramped main car park of Tamworth airport could be coming to an end.
Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) is considering introducing paid parking as part of a $900,000 plan to ease congestion around the terminal.
Airport users have become increasingly frustrated at the lack of parking spots available in the car park during peak arrival and departure times.
The bottlenecks regularly cause desperate drivers to double-park or seek out a spot in the car park of the Tamworth Aero Club.
Councillor Warren Woodley, who raised the issue of congestion at the last council meeting, said a user-pays system was inevitable.
“We’re going to extend the parking area and we’ll probably put some meters in ,” he said.
“The problem is that the parking area has really been taken over by people in the mining industry who leave their cars there for one, two, three, four or more days.
“They just park their cars and rack off, and that’s fine because the council is very happy to have them here because it’s good for Tamworth.”
Cr Woodley said chronic congestion at the airport was a sign of Tamworth’s growing status as a regional hub servicing the North West.
He said that with the local mining industry booming and the lack of commercial flights into Gunnedah and Narrabri, there was greater demand on the Tamworth facility.
“I don’t think we’ve got any alternative,” he said.
“I don’t particularly want to charge people because we’ve never charged there, but (free parking) is coming to an end.
“It’s been a generous gift to the people who’ve parked there for many, many years, but we’ve got to the point where we’ve got to put more parks in and that costs money.”
TRC business and events director John Sommerlad told last week’s council meeting that plans were well-advanced on the $900,000 project.
Airport project to improve traffic turbulence
Aug. 5, 2015
TAMWORTH Airport users should find parking spaces easier to find now, with the first stage of the new $1.2 million car park open.
The first 30 of the anticipated 179 spaces in the short-term car park were opened to public use this week.
The remaining car parks are expected to be completed later on, but Tamworth Regional Council has completed an extension of the long-term car park area – across the road, on the southern side of Basil Brown Dr – which now provides a total of 178 parking spaces.
The project is the forerunner to a new era for airport users, with a new fee structure for parking set to come into effect in November, when the new boom gates are installed.
Until then, they’re free, just like the long-term car parking at the rear.
Airport manager Julie Stewart said the project met a demand for more parking spaces and would also improve traffic flow.
There is still more work to come at the airport, with alterations to the kerbside near the terminal to improve the set-down and pick-up areas, a new taxi turning area, waiting bays for six taxis and two buses, and improved lighting.
A new designated concrete pathway links the terminal to the long-term car park.
The work on the boom gates will start when tenders for the project are finalised.
They closed last week and the assessment process is under way.
Tamworth Regional Council approved the introduction of paid short-term car parking as part of its latest operations plan.
The new fee structure will include free parking for the first hour, followed by a charge of $3 an hour, to a maximum of $18 a day or $65 a week.
Free parking will remain at the current long-term car park on the southern side of Basil Brown Dr.
Award for ugliest airport car park?
Aug. 16, 2015
I WAS unaware that there was a competition under way for Australia’s ugliest airport car park, but have come to the conclusion that this must be what Tamworth is entering.
The rebuilding of the old car park will be able to enter in several categories.
Firstly, there has been exclusive use of concrete and asphalt.
Secondly, after the spending of large sums of public money, the facility is functionally identical to what was there previously.
Thirdly, the total destruction of the established gardens and beautiful trees will not only be useful for the main competition entry,but also provide for a run at the Tony Abbott special distinction award for Unnecessary Anti-environmentalism.
Seriously, one of the features of Tamworth and NSW in general has been a resistance to the concreting obsession that seems to rule north of the border.
Yes, gardens require gardeners, a willingness to cope with falling leaves and roots searching for moisture, as well as aesthetic appreciation by town planners, but the benefits are well worth it.
The trees of Peel St are a leading example.
I hope the over-enthusiastic use of concrete at the airport is a one-off and that in future locations Tamworth will continue its commitment to the gardens that add so much to the town.
Airport fee hike: council flies into turbulence with car parking review
Feb. 8, 2016
A report to tonight’s council meeting will recommend paid car parking be extended at Tamworth Regional Airport, with long-term users potentially facing new charges of up to $11 a day.
A review of the parking fees at the airport has suggested Tamworth Regional Council introduce charges for the long-term car parking at the southern end of the short-term parking area, to better provide income for ongoing upgrades.
A monthly pass of $150 for those parking for at least 28 days would also be available.
The report provides for free parking for all airport users for up to two hours, which would allow drivers to pick up and drop off passengers without paying.
But airport manager Julie Stewart has also confirmed the new rates would actually provide a cheaper hourly rate for car park users than the fees proposed last year.
It will reduce from $3 an hour to $2 an hour, with an extension of the free one-hour parking to free two-hour timeslots.
But the latest fee review has sparked immediate anger from the Aero Club that operates at the airport and whose members have been at loggerheads with the council over a number of issues over the past couple of years.
Aero club president Adele Mazoudier yesterday declared the move as secretive, morally wrong, ham-fisted, backward and discriminatory to regional users.
Mrs Mazoudier flagged the club’s opposition to the move, claiming the recommendations had come totally out of the blue when previous policies had not included any fees for those who parked in the “paddock” up the back of the car parking areas.
“What the report is saying is that the top half of the car park will be paid parking but to the best of our knowledge this has never been proposed to the public,” Mrs Mazoudier said yesterday.
She said it would further inhibit the club’s capacity to trade effectively. The club originally used a small car park adjacent to its building but it was resumed by TRC and is now used for airport staff parking, although the club has access to it for special functions and after-hours.
She also slammed the council for considering charges for users from out-of-town who would now incur fees for parking in the long-term space.
She said it discriminated against them but mayor Col Murray defended it by saying it was actually morally wrong if they didn’t charge regional users for using the facility.
“This funding will ensure upgrades at the airport will be financed by the users of the airport and not the general community, so the burden is not on those people who don’t use it,” Cr Murray said.
“If we want to have the level of investment we want at the airport we have to find the revenue to support it.”
Cr Murray argued the fees schedule was similar to that of other regional airports and he believed the rates proposed were fair and on-par with other cities.
He said the review actually was a “reflection of the real, genuine success” of the airport as a city asset.
He said the new opinion on extending the fees didn’t represent a failed previous policy or budget plan but instead a revised and updated consideration of how the airport was performing better, but also deserved upgrades in keeping with its new growth trends.
The new fees will be debated tonight and the review decision will go on public display for a month afterwards before the council finally decides what fees it will set.
However, Ms Stewart indicated yesterday that any charges were not likely to come into effect until at least late March or not before more upgrade works, including security cameras and a covered walkway from the short-term car park to the terminal entrance, were completed.
Fee will keep airport viable
Feb. 9, 2016
TAMWORTH has been an extraordinary success story when it comes to aviation.
Where many around us – witness a number of smaller northern centres that have struggled to keep planes and services in the air or even attract and maintain air routes – and others have weathered bad storms, around Tamworth it’s been clear flying.
The council debate last night then about a review of airport car parking fees and the consultant’s independent report, which looked at the operation of the airport and the facility’s future, was critical in a number of ways.
Hopefully, the decision remains on track today in the wake of that review and that politics has not usurped policy in this instance.
Tamworth Regional Airport is our jewel in the crown.
It is a $44 million asset we own. Yes, that’s you and me, and the other bloke next to us and the others next to him, too.
And so far we are seeing significant and ongoing benefits from that asset. We have been for years.
While we wouldn’t be so crass as to say it’s been a cash cow, it has in fact paid its way, paid for upgrades and underwritten the council’s sustainability.
The latest financial reports show the airport returned an income of some $4.5 million, although for the past year the expenditure actually outran that income, given the extent of the capital and investment works being undertaken there over the past year.
The fact the council has been given expert advice that it should impose a car parking fee on those who park in the long-term zone – colloquially known as the “paddock up the back” – is testament to that asset base.
It was an idea flagged a few years ago and after the extended upgrades were delivered to long-term parkers.
While some believe they shouldn’t have to pay, we do have to accept that if we are to keep it safe, secure and driving tourism, travel and work, we need to continually keep it contemporary, current and technically up to speed.
In other words, it has continue to be a high flyer or we risk losing our position as one of the stronger regional routes and aviation hubs.
We also need the revenue it makes to invest in those capital upgrades.
Mayor Col Murray has argued rightly that the fees schedule is similar to that of other regional airports and the rates proposed are fair and on par with other cities.
If you use it, you should expect to pay for it or risk not being able to have that choice in the future.
Airport to get paid parking
Feb. 10, 2016
PAID parking will be introduced at Tamworth Regional Airport from March, with a charge of up to $10 a day for those passengers using the long-term area.
Tamworth Regional councillors endorsed the introduction of a user-pays fee structure at the airport at their meeting on Tuesday night, with the document now going on public exhibition for a month to allow for community feedback.
A maximum charge of $11 a day for the long-term car park had been proposed in the report to council, but councillors agreed to reduce that to $10, to ease the cost burden for airport users.
Mayor Col Murray said he felt $10 “was a bit more within the expectations of the community” and that every effort had to be made to ensure the fee structure wasn’t a deterrent for passengers.
Under the proposed fee plan, there will be up to two hours of free parking in the short-term car park, closest to the terminal, to allow for passenger pick-up and drop-off.
After that, it will be $2 an hour, up to a maximum of $15 a day.
Proposed fees for the long-term car park include free parking for up to two hours and then $2 per hour up to a maximum of $10 a day.
A monthly parking pass card has also been proposed for regular car park users parking for 28 continuous days, at a cost of $150 and allowing for multiple entry and exits.
Council is in the final stages of a $1.2 million project that has added 122 new car spaces and will soon include the addition of a closed-circuit television system and new fencing.
Several councillors expressed their reservations about the fee structure, but conceded the revenue was needed to help offset the costs of running the airport.
“We need to present this to the community in order for them to understand why parking fees are necessary – because we need to continue growing our airport,” Cr Helen Tickle said.
Tamworth Aero Club president Adele Mazoudier addressed councillors before the meeting, arguing against the introduction of long-term car park fees and criticising the council for the lack of publicity about the move.
She said the charges could lead to a downturn in passenger numbers, with people from outside the Tamworth region instead choosing to use another airport.
But Cr Murray rejected any suggestion of secrecy in relation to the proposal, saying it had been discussed in open council and would now be open to public comment.
He said the revenue stream from airport parking would help ensure the airport remained a major factor in the region’s economic growth.
“The recently-announced funding of more than $2.1 million council secured … to strengthen and extend the main apron has come at the perfect time to give us the capacity for more flights and bigger passenger aircraft,” Cr Murray said.
“Having secure, well-lit, readily available car parking close to the terminal is part of the range of facilities airport users expect … and moving to a paid parking system is the logical and financially sustainable way for council to deliver it.”
Tamworth airport – Call to rethink parking fees
Rebecca Belt and the Namoi Valley Independent
April 3, 2016
GUNNEDAH Shire Council has pleaded with Tamworth Regional Council to rethink proposed parking fees at the airport.
At this month’s council meeting, Gunnedah shire mayor Owen Hasler said Gunnedah residents were
Gunnedah Shire Council mayor Owen Hasler wants a rethink on parking fees at Tamworth Regional Airport.
Gunnedah Shire Council mayor Owen Hasler wants a rethink on parking fees at Tamworth Regional Airport.
regular users of Tamworth Regional Airport and they already had to travel to get to the airport, without having to also pay parking fees.
The proposed charges are being discussed following a $1.2 million upgrade of the airport terminal and parking facilities.
“Considering these regular users already have an extra burden, it should be recognised in assessing further charges,” Cr Hasler said.
Tamworth mayor Col Murray said the proposed fees had not been finalised as yet, but the airport was a user-pay business unit of council.
“Whilst council understands the views of visitors like Gunnedah coming to the airport, council also feels it is
considered unreasonable for those residents who don’t use the facility to pay,” he said.
“In our bid to attract another carrier and to reduce airfares, abundant carparking was one of the things the second carrier was used to.”
Cr Murray said they respected the position of residents from neighouring towns, including Gunnedah, Narrabri and Quirindi, but it is was the only fair way the council could continue to develop the airport.
“In the public consultation there has been a good representation from our neighbours,” he said.
“Somebody has to pay for all these public facilities, though. In all levels of government, we’re all facing reducing levels of revenue and increasing levels of cost.
Whether we like it or not, we are rapidly moving into the user-pay system, where users of facilities are expected to pay for them.”
Gunnedah shire councillors voted to voice their concerns to Tamworth Regional Council.
Council meeting – Airport paid parking on the agenda
April 11, 2016
PAID parking at Tamworth Regional Airport is about to become a reality, as councillors consider a report recommending imposed parking fees at a meeting tonight.
If the proposal goes ahead, passengers will be charged up to $10 a day once the remaining car park upgrades are completed before July.
The proposal has been on public exhibition for a month, with council receiving 24 submissions.
In February, Tamworth regional councillors endorsed the introduction of a user-pays fee structure at the airport, but opted to reduce the maximum charge for day-long short-term parking from $11 to $10.
Passengers will also have the option of long-term parking, with a daily rate of $8.
Council documents said the two-tier fee structure would provide a “balanced approach”.
“The long-term car park fees are less and will assist in managing available short-term parking spaces for drop-off and pick-up of passengers close to the terminal,” the report said.
“Both car parks offer two hours of free parking.”
Tamworth Aero Club’s submission said parking fees would unfairly affect
ts clients, however the council report deemed the two hours free parking was enough for the club’s patrons.
“Any extension of time beyond the two hours is achieved by exiting and re-entering the car park for an additional two hours free,” the report said.
Other submissions pointed out the lack of alternate transport to the airport, while Gunnedah Shire Council’s submission said paid car parking was an additional cost for passengers using the airport from outside the Tamworth area.
However the report said the recommended fees were lower than those of other regional airports such as Wagga Wagga and Albury.
All the revenue generated from the proposed car parking fees would be allocated to the Airport Reserve for future maintenance and upgrades.
Airport parking – Councillors defer decision
April 13, 2016
THERE is still no decision on paid parking at Tamworth Regional Airport, as councillors voted to defer the issue until further discussions took place with tenants about car park access.
A report tabled to Tamworth regional councillors recommended they approve the paid parking, which would see passengers pay up to $10 a day for short-term parking or $8 a day for long-term parking.
Tamworth Aero Club president Adele Mazoudier spoke to councillors and questioned the operational aspects of the parking system, including how service providers would access the car parks once paid parking took effect and boom gates were installed.
Ms Mazoudier asked councillors to allow further discussion to take place about the Tamworth Aero Club car park before a decision was made.
Resident Garry Richardson also addressed the council and raised questions about the forecast revenue from the car parking fees.
Cr Russell Webb said the speakers had “raised some questions in my mind about a couple of issues”.
“This is a really hard one and I’m uncomfortable with a lot of things in this,” Cr Webb said.
“Before I can put my hand on my heart and make a decision on this, I would like further information based about what has been said tonight.
“I might come back and support what is front of us, but that’s just the way I feel.”
Councillors Helen Tickle and Juanita Wilson agreed the fee structure was appropriate, but said there was a clear need for further discussions with airport stakeholders.
“It’s quite apparent we have a lot of important business going on out at the airport and we don’t want to jeopardise that in any way,” Cr Tickle said.
Cr Phil Betts said he was usually reluctant to back a deferral, as councillors “should do their homework”, but believed on this occasion there were issues that needed to be clarified.
“I’m also not supportive of the $8 fee for long-term parking, I think it should be less than that,” Cr Betts said.
Cr Mark Rodda said he was “not entirely happy with the fee structure”.
“Particularly in relation to the long-term car park and the impact it would have on users from Barraba, Manilla or Nundle, who have no other option than to drive to the airport,” Cr Rodda said.
Cr James Treloar said he was happy to defer the vote, but pointed out the report presented to councillors was purely about parking fees.
“The recommendation is in relation to parking fees and what we are doing is deferring something on an operational issue,” Cr Treloar said.
He also said the difference between the long-term and the short-term car park was a road’s width.
“If you think there is going to be a significant difference between a short-term and long-term car park for one road’s width, you must be dreaming,” Cr Treloar said.
“When you are talking about crossing a road for anything for more than $2, I think you really have to have a good serious look at it.”
Council to vote on airport parking fees
May 8, 2016, 8 p.m.
A NEW fee structure for Tamworth Regional Airport is expected to be finalised at tomorrow’s council meeting.
A report recommends lower fees for use of the long-term car park, but all other fees remain unchanged from the amounts proposed in April.
People who park at the airport for up to seven days in the long- term car park will pay $35 (rather than $48), while the monthly pass for the long-term car park with multiple entry will be set at $120, (rather than $150).
Parking up to seven days in the short term car park will cost $60 a week and $150 for a monthly pass with multiple entry.
The fee structure also allows free parking for up to two hours in either the short-term or long- term car park, with a cost of $2 per hour in either car park for two hours or more.
A maximum 24-hour fee of $10 a day applies in the short- term car park and $8 a day in the long-term car park.
Tamworth mayor Col Murray said paid parking was a “necessity” to help fund the ongoing cost of providing and maintaining improved facilities for all airport users.
“Not so long ago we had a high level of frustration because people found it near impossible to find a place to park – now we have a total of 402 parking spaces, which are floodlit and have added security with closed circuit television monitoring, which cost $1.2 million,” Cr Murray said .
“In our discussions with Tamworth Aero Club (TAC) about its needs, it was agreed its patrons will be able to enter the car park after the club’s 4pm opening time and exit before midnight (the club’s licensed closing time) without charge.”
Tamworth Aero Club president Adele Mazoudier said she was “happy with the spirit and outcome” of the club’s meeting with council.
“We believe that we have been given every indication that the TAC will not be restricted in its activities – if anything it will be enhanced,” Ms Mazoudier said.
“The club will be included in ongoing discussions regarding some of the operational issues in relation to car park and we are particularly comforted to receive assurances from the mayor and the general manager that the lines of communication are always open.”
Cr Murray said councillors would vote in favour of the fee structure on Tuesday night’s meeting, while operational issues would continued to be handled directly with tenants.
Paid parking to start at Tamworth airport
May 10, 2016
PAID parking will come into force at Tamworth Regional Airport in June, after councillors voted in favour of the move at last night’s council meeting.
It was the third time the proposal had come before council, with councillors previously voting to defer the decision to address community concerns.
Mayor Col Murray described the fee structure as “fair and affordable”, particularly when compared with other similar-sized regional airports.
“All councillors agreed that while there is a need to have paid parking, to ensure we have the money needed to maintain the newly upgraded car parking facilities and fund further improvements, we have endeavoured to also make the fees fair and affordable for airport users,” Cr Murray said.
Motorists who park at the airport for up to seven days in the long-term car park will pay $35 (rather than $48), and the monthly pass for the long-term car park will be $120 (rather than $150).
All other fees were unchanged from the amounts first proposed in April.
Lofty flight plan: Deputy mayor predicts international airport to take off
May 11, 2016
PAID parking at Tamworth Regional Airport will help it eventually grow into an international airport, Tamworth’s deputy mayor says.
The bold comments come as Tamworth Regional councillors, at Tuesday night’s meeting, voted in favour of paid parking, which is expected to come into force in June.
Deputy mayor Russell Webb said the money raised from the car park would help upgrade the airport and he had no doubt it would become an international airport in the future.
“We have to be mindful of that, and mindful of our ability to raise funds to maintain and grow the airport, without impacting residents in the region by taking money out of our general fund,” Cr Webb said.
“The compromise we’ve come to will take us forward in a strong way and keep our airport operating fiscally well.
“It will enable us to grow the airport as business grows in the years to come. There are opportunities out there that we are yet to see.”
Councillor Helen Tickle said the parking fees were “more than reasonable” and “very much in line” with other regional airports. “Wherever you go to an airport these days, you have to pay,” Cr Tickle said.
“As a council, we cannot keep expecting ratepayers to pay for people to leave their car at the airport while they go on five-week overseas holidays.”
Councillor Mark Rodda said he would have preferred lower fees, particularly for residents from Manilla, Nundle and Barraba, who don’t have the option to catch a taxi to the airport.
“I’m also mindful the airport’s infrastructure will need to be upgraded in the future, and, under the circumstances, this is probably cheaper than other large regional airports,” he said.
The new fee schedule has cheaper weekly and monthly rates for long-term parking – $35 rather than $48, and $120 rather than $150 respectively.
The first two hours will remain free, with each hour after that costing $2.
There is a maximum 24-hour fee of $10 a day for the short-term car park and $8 a day in the long-term car park.
Council will advertise the date at least 30 days beforehand to ensure airport users are aware of the introduction of the fees.
Regional airport long-term parking rates per day:
* Tamworth: $8
* Dubbo: $9.50
* Mildura: $11
* Wagga Wagga: $12
* Albury: $18
* Port Macquarie: $15
Justification for paid parking doesn’t add up
May 15, 2016
Garry Richardson from Bithramere writes about paid parking at Tamworth Regional Airport.
I WOULD like to comment on the headline on the front page of The NDL last Thursday, “Lofty flight plan: Deputy mayor predicts international airport to take off”.
Firstly, I agree that there should be charges to park at the airport, but not the amount that has been passed. I think that $5 and $8 a day would give more than a fair return to the council.
In a comparison of the charges at our two closest comparable airports, Armidale and Dubbo, both provide free parking for long-term parking.
The $9-50 quoted for Dubbo in your article relates to the high-security, covered car park.
The comments by the councillors to justify the charges, that “paid parking at Tamworth Regional Airport will help it eventually grow into an international airport” and “as a council, we cannot keep expecting ratepayers to pay for people to leave their car at the airport while they go on five-week overseas holidays” are somewhat unconvincing arguments, and nothing more needs to be said.
The council collects $46-55 from departure, arrival and security check fees every time a passenger has a return flight from Tamworth.
Now, under the new pricing, if they park their car for three days in the short-term car park, they will contribute $75-75 to the council. An increase in charges of 62 per cent.
Despite passing the rates, the council still has not provided financial figures to justify the charges that they have agreed to, despite the following quote from the business paper report to the council meeting on February 9, 2016, regarding the car park fees: “A review of proposed fees and charges for car parking at Tamworth Regional Airport has been undertaken to determine an appropriate user-pays fee structure. The proposed structure will ensure a reasonable level of utilisation whilst also providing the revenue to recover the operational and capital costs.”