Deer Lake airport expands parking

Officials at Deer Lake Regional Airport have added almost 200 new parking spots to meet the increasing demand for long-term parking created by people who live in western Newfoundland and use the airport frequently.

"Just recently, this past week, we opened up an additional 198 spaces which gives us a total of 875 spaces," said Jamie Schwartz, president and CEO of the airport.

"The popularity of Deer Lake airport's long-term parking lot was getting too big for the spot it was in, so [we] decided for the second time in two years that they should expand and add more parking spots."

The parking lot was only constructed five years ago, and Schwartz estimated that 700 vehicles had been parking at the airport on a regular basis, which prompted the second expansion.

Schwartz has been trying to figure out why the demand for parking at his small airport has taken off.

"We can only speculate, we don't have the exact numbers, but there is no doubt that I think a lot of our growth is workers commuting outside of the province," said Schwartz. "And, in some cases, to other parts of the province for work for extended periods of time."

Parking at the airport costs $5 per day, $30 a week, or $100 a month. The airport is also offering year-long parking pass. So far, Schwartz noted, about a quarter of all the airport's parking permits have been annual passes.

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