Passengers traveling through MidAmerica Airport as of April 2 will have to start paying to park there.
For the first hour, parking will be free, but for each additional hour, travelers will pay $1 per hour. The daily parking rate is $5 per day.
The fees are part of a contract approved Monday by the St. Clair County Public Building Commission, which oversees the county-owned airport. Republic Parking will also be responsible for snow removal, among other services.
At St. Louis Lambert International Airport, daily parking fees range from $7 to $23. Hourly parking fees in terminal lots range from $5 for the first two hours to $23 for a day.
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Chairman Mark Kern said in a statement the switch to paid parking will help maintain an expanded parking lot "and other aspects of our growing operations."
The revenue source will "help offset the funds the community might otherwise be required to contribute to sustain the Airport," according to a statement in a news release from the airport.
After entering through a designated entrance and parking, travelers will pay for parking at one of six payment kiosks inside the terminal. Two of the machines will accept cash and all six all accept payment by card. Customers can also pay by card when leaving the parking lot through the designated exit.
Anyone parked at the airport before April 2 will not have to pay any fees. The parking company will conduct an inventory to make sure anyone parked there before the fees go into effect will not have to pay once they leave.
Homeland security rules restrict the amount of time vehicles can spend parking in front of the terminal, according to Republic Parking System Senior Vice President of Airport Division Don Barrett.
Offering free parking for the first hour will allow people picking up travelers to park for free instead of parking in front of the terminal, Barrett said.
The county agreed to pay Republic Parking a yearly budget, and expects to pay $198,167 for its first year of operations.
The commission approved the contract with Republic Parking Services in January.
Republic Parking managed parking and ground transportation at more than 70 airports in the United States, according to the news release.
The commission approved a five-year agreement to hire Crawford, Murphy & Tilly consulting firm for its Airport Improvement Program projects from 2018 to 2023.
The estimated cost for projects from June 2017 to March 2018 is $389,717. The firm worked on analyzing a possible access road to Exit 21, as well as establishing a conceptual idea for the terminal expansion.
The commission also approved a "refresh" of technology for U.S. Customs and Border Protection purposes. The $81,732 tentative budget will pay for upgrades to international border patrol security technology. Though MidAmerica does not have international passengers, cargo and airplanes from other countries travel through the port of entry, according to airport Director Tim Cantwell.
Security enhancements will include updates to two primary work station areas and the ability to fully enforce federal requirements. The final budget for the agreement will be submitted by Customs and Border Protection later this year or early next year, Cantwell said.