Jan. 06--BAHRAIN International Airport, which officials say is short of at least 1,500 parking spaces, will soon have multi-level lots for vehicles, it was revealed yesterday.
There have been some changes in the parking facilities at the airport and the endeavour was to offer high-value services to users, said Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) chief executive Gordon Dewar.
"We will still expand the parking facilities at the airport horizontally and create several areas, but will ultimately have to go vertical in the near future," Mr Dewar said during a media luncheon at the Mšvenpick Hotel, Muharraq.
"The plan is to start building multi-level parking lots in 2012."
He defended the recent increase in parking fees from 200 fils to 400 fils, which he said was necessary to prevent "misuse and overuse".
"There are people who park at the airport for days and weeks on end at very low rates and this prevents legitimate users from making full use of the facilities," said Mr Dewar.
"There are still other areas where people can park at the old rate and we encourage that.
"Soon, we shall have shuttle services from other parking areas to the main building as well, to make it easy for users."
Mr Dewar said the BAC would be making major announcements about the future of the airport soon, which would outline where they saw the business was going.
"In a year where globally airports have suffered, Bahrain airport has been in the positive situation that it has stood still because of greater demand across the region," he said.
"We are now in a position for further growth this year and I fully expect us to be profitable in 2011. All of this money will go into further developing the airport both in the short term and the longer term.
"We intend to generate the profit to see that we are self-sustaining about our future and that no Bahrain government money will be needed to move us forward."
Mr Dewar said at some time in the future they would have to look at a second runway and at increasing the number of direct docking areas for passengers.
"We do not actually have a lack of runway space at the moment but what we have is a lack of airspace because of the amount of air traffic from adjacent airports in other countries in the region," he said.
"This is a long-term proposition, but running an airport involves being ahead of the growth curve in customers and we expect to see customer growth in the future."