DFW Airport Board approves budget

The Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Board of Directors recently approved a $791.7 million budget for 2016, which includes a hike in parking fees. Overall, the budget represents a $74.2 million or 10.3 percent increase over 2015. Budget documents indicate most of the increase (62 percent) is due to rising debt service costs.

The parking rate for everyone who parks at DFW Airport will be the same at beginning of the fiscal year on Oct. 1 of this year. But TollTag users will no longer receive a discount at that time.

On Oct. 1, the Terminal TollTag daily parking rate (6 – 24 hrs.) will increase from $20 to $22. This is the current amount for cash and credit card transactions, according to budget documents. About 57 percent of transactions use TollTag, an increase of about 21 percent over the past 10 years.
Additionally, intra-day parking rates (between two to four hours) will increase from $6 to $7 for all users. Valet parking increases from $25 to $27 a day.

In all, the parking fee increases are expected to generate an additional $4.8 million in revenue. Total parking revenues are projected at $143.2 million, a $7.2 million or 5.3 percent increase over the 2015 fiscal year.

The new parking rates will help pay for a number of customer enhancements, including the parking control system, new parking garages, roadway improvements on airport property, and the parking guidance system that has overhead lights along the outer edge of each parking space. The light is green if the space is open and red if it is taken.

In the past four years, the airport made a $279 million investment in parking garages, structures and systems. An additional $121 million is expected from future projects.

The airport recently completed a project at the “Terminal A” parking facility, a five-story parking garage with an additional 7,500 parking spaces. Terminal A represents the largest new structure project at the airport since 2005, when Terminal D and Skylink opened. The Terminal A parking garage also has the parking “guidance system.” With the completion of Terminal A, the airport has a total of 42,000 parking spaces on site.

“Our Terminal A parking facility was designed with enhanced customer convenience and accessibility in mind,” Mazhar Butt, senior vice president of customer experience for DFW Airport, said. “Customers will instantly experience state-of-the-art technology that helps them find their way, and customers liked the guidance technology so much that we also installed it in Terminal D.”

Terminal A is part of the airport’s Terminal Renewal and Improvement Program (TRIP). The $2.7 billion program is designed to renovate the airport’s four original terminals. Renovation work on Terminal A should be finished later this year, while work on Terminals B and E is expected to be completed in 2016.
In other action, the board approved a 3.5 percent merit pool increase for employees, starting with the first pay period in January. The hiring of new and vacant positions has been spread throughout the fiscal year.