© —Star photo by Paul Hutchings
Vehicles are seen parked at the Deer Lake Regional Airport in this file photo.
It’s a busy time of the year at the Deer Lake Regional Airport and while that’s good for business, it is putting a strain on the facility’s parking.
“This is the time of the year when a lot of people locally travel to southern destinations and this combined with our increasing regular traffic is causing a challenge for us,”said airport president and CEO Jaimie Schwartz on Wednesday.
The airport has 875 long-term parking spaces available for travellers and on Tuesday there were 1,050 vehicles parked there and in alternate locations.
“This doesn’t even include our workers or rental vehicles, this is passengers travelling,” said Schwartz.
Schwartz said the airport is trying to create as many parking areas as possible.
“It’s getting more difficult,” he said, but added that no one will be turned away.
“We will make every effort and we will ensure that people have a place to park here. We will not be turning any traffic away.”
Schwartz said the parking demand changes daily and he advises people to check with security on arrival to find out where the available spots are.
He said the situation isn’t expected to last long as the issue is consistent with patterns in the past.
“We anticipate this will continue through Easter and to the end of the month. It will ease off after that,” said Schwartz.
But in the meantime the airport is asking the travelling public to leave their vehicles home and find an alternate way to the airport. Suggestions include carpooling, having someone else drop them off or take the airport shuttle.
Schwartz said the airport knows this may not be convenient or possible for many people who live further away, but for local travellers doing so would help.
He noted that there are plans to increase parking at the airport this summer.