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AVL raises short-term parking rate

Asheville Regional Airport is raising the short-term parking rate during its parking deck construction in order to discourage parking of more than four hours in the lot.

The rate will remain at $1 for each half hour up to four hours to accommodate short-term users of the airport. After four hours, a new flat rate of $25 per day will be charged, double the current daily maximum of $12.50.

The reason: Long-term overnight parkers are using the short-term spaces, leaving limited parking for visitors who only need to be at the airport for a short period of time, such as those who are picking up a passenger or conducting business at the airport, the airport said in a news release. The changes are the result of the parking garage construction project, which has temporarily reduced the number of short-term parking stalls. The new fee goes into effect on Nov. 1.

The new fee structure for the short-term lot is temporary, and will be in effect until the new parking garage opens next year. When opened, the garage will offer 1,100 convenient parking spaces directly in front of the airport terminal to serve all customers' needs.

"It is a positive step forward for the airport to construct a parking garage, but there are operational issues that we must address in the interim," AVL Executive Director Lew Bleiweis said in a statement. "One such issue is making sure all those using the airport — travelers and short-term visitors — have ample parking available to them."

A new pre-paid shuttle lot is located directly across the street from the main entrance. Travelers may opt to park in this lot, pre-pay $6 per day for the planned duration of their trip, and a shuttle will deliver them to and from the front door of the terminal. The shuttle operates around-the-clock.

Also available to travelers is the traditional long-term lot near the terminal and the credit card-only lot past the terminal on the right. Both of these lots are available for $1.50 per hour, up to a maximum of $8 per day.

Those picking up passengers may use a convenient cell phone waiting lot located past the terminal on the right. There is no charge to park in this lot, but visitors must wait in their vehicles until their passengers arrive, and then exit the lot and drive to the terminal curb to pick up passengers.