DFW Airport seeks higher parking rates for terminal garages

07/01/2014 6:49 PM

07/01/2014 6:50 PM

Parking close to your departure gate at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport could get more expensive this fall.

The airport is proposing a $2 increase in parking rates for terminal garages as part of its budget for fiscal 2015, which begins Oct. 1. The airport wants to increase the daily rate for terminal parking to $22 for credit card and cash payers and to $20 for TollTag users.

It also wants to increase rates to $9 from $7 for cars parked four to six hours and to $6 from $5 for cars parked two to four hours. TollTag users would pay the same $3 rate for 30 minutes to two hours as credit card and cash payers.

The rate increases are expected to generate an additional $9.8 million, Chris Poinsatte, DFW’s chief financial officer, told the board Tuesday.

“We are going to use these rate increases to cover our debt service on our parking investments,” Poinsatte said, referring to the new parking garages being built at Terminals A and E, including guidance systems that help drivers find open spaces.

Rates at the remote and express lots and for valet parking will not change. The airport raised rates for valet service and cars parked up to 30 minutes in its last budget but did not implement the increases until March 1 as it dealt with technical problems in its new automated parking control system.

In the proposed budget for the next fiscal year, the airport expects to handle a record 62.6 million passengers and a record number of international seats. The growth is due primarily to new flights by American Airlines and the addition of foreign carriers such as Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways.

“We are on target to generate $100 million in revenues for the airport for the first time ever in its history,” DFW Chief Executive Sean Donohue said at the finance committee meeting Tuesday.

The airport is budgeting for $103.2 million in net revenue in its cost center, generated from parking and concessions, which is $6.7 million more than it expects to generate this year. With the extra revenue, the airport expects to lower landing fees, saving airlines $28.7 million.

However, the airport’s total budget is expected to increase $78.3 million to $724.7 million, primarily because of higher debt payments of $333.3 million.

DFW has continued to issue more debt as it renovates its terminals in a $2.3 billion project. Its operating expenses will be about 5 percent higher than in fiscal 2014 as the staff recommends a 3 percent merit-raise pool and expects higher costs for utilities and healthcare.

The full board is expected to vote on the budget Thursday.

Also Tuesday, the executive compensation committee approved a new incentive program for Donohue, who became CEO in October. The program increases the possible incentive payment from 20 to 30 percent of his base salary.

Donohue earns $440,000 in salary and could receive a cash bonus of up to $132,000 under the new plan. The full board will vote on the matter Thursday.

“We would love to be able to pay this because it would mean we would have met all of these goals,” committee Chairwoman Regina Montoya said.

The plan includes targets for employee engagement and customer satisfaction and for increasing revenue by up to $6 million over the budget for this year.

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