Augusta Regional Airport continues to tweak its first come, first served plane parking system ahead of the steep increase in private aircraft expected for Masters Week.
Last year, the airport for the first time closed its smaller runway to double parking space to accommodate about 200 private aircraft, depending on size.
This year, Augusta Regional is expanding a secondary fixed-base operator office and adding more vans to transport passengers, said Ken Hinkle, its director of aviation services.
“As the welcome mat to the city, we want to make it as simple as possible, with as much space as we can,” Hinkle said.
The airport continues to learn from 2013, when an online reservation system left some parking spaces reserved but empty, or filled by planes overstaying a reservation, which boosted traffic to smaller airports, he said.
Even when parking is full – which typically happens late Wednesday or Thursday, the day Masters Tournament play starts – private aircraft may continue to take off and land, he said.
Parking a private plane at Augusta Regional runs from $1,200 per day for the largest jets to $300 daily, plus a landing fee.
Hinkle said he projects about 2,400 flights in and out of Augusta Regional for the 2016 Masters, and double that for the area’s four airports combined.
Last year during Masters Week, Augusta Regional had 2,844 flights while Daniel Field saw 1,126.
Original article can be found here: http://chronicle.augusta.com