ISLAMABAD: People going to Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA) hate paying “ridiculous” amount of money to enter. The authorities at BBIA have been charging an entry fee of Rs30 per person since 2007.
Umayr Masud, who had come to drop off a relative at BBIA, said that the airport’s charging policy was “ridiculous”. Bilawal Derwaiz, another visitor, said that he had to pay Rs150 for the five people that were sitting in his car, which was “unfair”.
The authorities justify these charges by saying that they want to discourage people from coming to the airport due to security reasons.
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) also increased the parking fees at various airports across the country recently. From October 1, according to a notification, the airport authorities will charge a parking fee of Rs10 for motorbikes and Rs30 for private cars and wagons. The charges are doubled after three hours. Vehicles staying overnight will have to pay Rs300 while commercial vehicles can get a monthly pass by paying Rs3,000 per month.
CAA’s Manager Commercial Malik Amjad Mukhtar told The Express Tribune that increased parking fees were to discourage people from parking their cars for long durations in the airport premises.
“The idea to start charging parking fee according to time is to reduce congestion because sometimes visitors park their cars in the parking lot and don’t come back for hours,” Mukhtar said.
Visitors have also complained that they are charged parking fees when they come to drop people off. Mukhtar denied the practice. He said only the vehicles that stay for over 40 minutes in the waiting lane are charged parking fees. He, however, conceded that visitors forced to wait for a longer period due to delayed flights should not be charged.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 22nd, 2010.
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