Sky Talk

DFW Airport to raise parking rates again in September

DFW Airport plans to raise its terminal parking rates to $24 a day starting in September. Special/Brandon Wade
DFW Airport plans to raise its terminal parking rates to $24 a day starting in September. Special/Brandon Wade Star-Telegram

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport plans to increase most of its parking rates in September, according to a budget proposal for the next fiscal year.

Daily rates are expected to increase $1 or $2, depending on the garage or parking lot being used. The only rates not increasing are for customers who spend eight to 30 minutes or 30 minutes to two hours at the airport. Those rates will remain $2 and $3 respectively.

About 36,000 drivers access the airport each day, and about 20,000 are dropping off or picking up friends and family during the eight-minute to 2-hour window, airport CEO Sean Donohue said.

“The biggest user is not being impacted,” Donohue said at an airport board committee meeting on Tuesday.

DFW Airport expects to generate $155 million in parking revenue for the 2017 fiscal year, which begins on Oct. 1. That reflects a $12.6 million increase due primarily to the higher parking rates, which would take effect on Sept. 1.

This is the third year in a row that the airport is increasing the daily terminal parking rate, which has gone up 33 percent since 2015, from $18 to the new rate of $24 per day.

For drivers who want to simply pass through the airport and take less than eight minutes, the cost will rise to $4, up from $2.

“When we look across the industry at large hub airports and local off-airport companies … we find that we are well under the industry averages as it relates to our parking rates,” said Ken Buchanan, the airport’s executive vice president of revenue management. “Seventy-five percent of all large hub airports have higher terminal parking rates than we do.”

The parking increases are part of the airport’s proposed budget of $884.6 million, which is $90.2 million, or 11 percent, higher than the current budget.

Chris Poinsatte, the airport’s chief financial officer, said most of the increased spending is due to higher debt payments required as the airport continues to issue more bonds for its terminal renovations. The airport’s debt service will climb to $430.4 million in fiscal 2017, $60.5 million more than this year. DFW is remodeling its four original terminals, built in 1974 — A, B, C and E.

The airlines’ costs will rise 22 percent, up $72.7 million, as they contribute $401.5 million to the airport budget through landing fees and terminal rents to help offset the rising debt service.

The airport also expects a record 67.9 million passengers in its next fiscal year. Revenue generated from parking, concessions and commercial development is expected to grow almost 7 percent to $366.6 million.

“We will continue to see growth at the airport,” Donohue said.

The full airport board, including the mayors of Fort Worth and Dallas, will review and possibly approve the new budget at the board meeting on Thursday morning.

Separately, the airport operations committee agreed to reimburse American Airlines $1.8 million for additional staff used to help reduce wait times in security checkpoint lines.

Fort Worth-based American said in May that it was spending $4 million on line management workers to aid customers entering and exiting security lines at its hub airports, including DFW.

Wait times at security checkpoints nationwide had gotten worse during the spring as the Transportation Security Administration changed some of its screening protocols and had fewer agents to staff checkpoints. During peak times, travelers encountered wait times between 30 minutes and an hour at DFW.

The airline expects that the added staff will help reduce wait times by 10 percent, Donohue said.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk

DFW Airport rates

DFW Airport plans to increase most of its parking rates in September.


Current rate

New rate (Sept. 1)




Express (covered)









0-8 minutes



8-30 minutes



30 minutes to 2 hours



2-4 hours



4-6 hours






Source: DFW Airport