Development plans are in the works for the Lubbock International Airport. The City Council is considering a proposal to add a new parking garage at the airport. Those in favor of it say a new garage would make airport parking safer and closer.
Apcoa is a private company hired by the airport to run the airport parking lot. Their five year contract is up but holding over while the city decides what's next. "Normally we'd go out for requests for proposals and give Apcoa and other companies a chance to compete for that to get the best price. What we're recommending to council is that we extend Apcoa's agreement for a short term while we go through the process of evaluating the possibility of building a parking garage at the airport," says Aviation Director Mark Earle.
LIA Aviation Director Mark Earle says the parking garage they have in mind would eliminate car inspections at the short term lot and the need for a shuttle to transport passengers from the covered garage to the terminal. "If you build a parking garage that is immediately adjacent to the building you can actually set it up like any modern airport, where you can walk covered from the parking area directly into the building without ever having to go outside," said Earle.
It would mean, no car inspectors and no van shuttles, which would help with funding this project. "The reason for looking at this now is security. The FAA has indicated that they would be willing to fund a portion of the parking garage if we build into the front wall of the garage blast protection for the building. In other words, protect the terminal building from the possibility of a blast in the parking lot," Earle said.
Earle says it's just another way for the airport to get in line with today's security demands. The new parking garage proposal will be on the City Council's agenda on Thursday. The Airport Board expects to have a more in depth plan on the design, cost and need for the parking garage for the council in the next few months.