Glasgow Airport has announced it will charge drivers £2 to drop off passengers. The change is expected to take effect at the end of April, after the opening of the airport’s new pick-up and drop-off point.
The new pick-up and drop-off point was announced at the end of January, as part of a wider scheme to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow at Glasgow Airport. The airport will continue to allow passengers to be picked up and dropped off at its long-stay car park for free. The long-stay car park provides access to the main terminal via a free bus journey that takes around 5 minutes.
The change will also introduce a reverse in traffic flow on St Andrew’s Drive. This change will be introduced in March, a month before the new zone is completed.
Amanda MacMillan, the managing director for Glasgow Airport said: “It has been apparent for some time that our current drop-off area, which suffers from severe congestion on a daily basis, is simply no longer fit for purpose”. She added that Glasgow Airport has grown from serving 6.5 million passengers a year to almost 10 million passengers since the old system was put in place.
According to Ms MacMillan, “We (Glasgow Airport) have resisted introducing a drop-off charge despite most airports of our size having similar arrangements in place for many years, however, having exhausted all possible alternatives we have now reached a point whereby a chargeable facility is the only way to address congestion, discourage non-airport traffic and encourage best use of our road network."
Glasgow Airport has charged pick-up fees since 2010. The introduction of the fee follows a recent trend in Scottish airports to either introduce or increase pick-up and drop-off fees. In late 2014, Edinburgh Airport trebled the charge for a 5-10 minute drop off, with a change from £1 for the first 10 minutes, to £1 for the first 5 minutes and £3 for 5-10 minutes. In addition to this, Aberdeen increased their drop-off charge from £1 to £2 in Easter 2016.
However, both Edinburgh and Glasgow Airports have seen large growth over the past few years, with Edinburgh Airport serving more than a million extra passengers in 2015 compared to 2014. Glasgow also saw its total number of passengers increase by almost a million in the same period.
After becoming the first Scottish airport to establish a direct link to South Korea, Glasgow Airport saw 9.4 million passengers travel from there in 2016. Edinburgh reported 12.37 million passengers in 2016, the busiest ever year of any Scottish airport. Both Edinburgh and Glasgow are in the top 10 busiest airports in Britain, and more fee increases are expected as passenger numbers grow.