Those wishing to drop off friends and relatives at Cardiff Airport will soon be hit with a new parking charge at the previously free car park, irrespective of how long their stay is.
The new minimum £1 charge was introduced last week, and has already provoked a storm amongst angry airport users who feel that it is unfair, with some even suggesting that it may lead them to seek out alternative travel options, such as flights from Bristol Airport.
Until the charge was introduced, short stays of up to 20 minutes were free of charge. For people who use the airport frequently, the new fee is seen as another burden. It also comes amidst a campaign by the Welsh Assembly Government to try to attract more business into the country, although the new fees are not likely to help their cause.
However, the airport reacted to the complaints by stating that it had received numerous comments from customers in the past saying that 20 minutes was not enough time to pick people up, and that they would rather pay a small amount and stay for longer. Until this charge was introduced, if customers stayed for over 20 minutes they had to pay £2.40, and so in that sense it will actually be a lot cheaper for many people.
A spokeswoman said: “We’ve researched the market and believe we are providing good value for money in charging £1 for one hour.”
If people simply want to drop passengers off at the front of the building, this can still be done for free. However, waiting around is not permitted due to the increased threat posed by terrorism since the attacks on Glasgow Airport last year.