Beginning Sept. 1, taxis, vans and buses will be paying a bigger fee in order to pick up passengers at the airport.
The fee increase at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport was approved at the regional airport authority meeting Thursday.
For taxis that can carry 1-6 passengers the fee will go from $2.50 to $3; for small vans that carry 7-14 passengers it will go from $4 to $5; for 15-29 passenger minibuses the fee will increase from $7 to $12; and for buses it will rise from $16 to $25.
The taxis, vans and buses may opt to pass those increases along to passengers. Rate increases, if any, will have to be approved by the airport authority.
Bruce Frallic, executive director of the airport, said ground transportation revenue has fallen short of costs for four years.
The costs for operating the ground transportation system for commercial vehicles, including management and legal fees, is $15,000 a month, compared to $10,000 income.
"The handwriting had been on the wall some time now for this rate increase," said Frallic, adding that it has operated at a deficit for at least four years.
In 2001 the airport lost $10,000 and in 2002 it lost $58,500. It lost $26,000 in 2003 and $58,000 in 2004, he said.
Raising the rates has been discussed and reviewed at several airport authority meetings.
The increase will help put the ground transportation system back in the black, said Frallic.
After four years of failed campaigns, the airport has finally figured out what has made their lots less attractive.
Parking rates will rise from $60 to $72 for passengers who park for six or seven days in long-term parking.
The charges cover not only landing fees, set at $2.16 per 1,000 pounds, but also cover space in the terminal for ticket counters, gate areas, employee parking, use of baggage claim and even an airline...