Solution coming to airport parking headaches

Solution coming to airport parking headaches

A new system of parking machines and barriers is being installed at Grand Cayman’s airport after nearly a decade of complaints and customer frustration. 

The new machines, which will allow customers to pay by swiping their credit cards as they exit the car park, will be in operation by March, according to airports boss Albert Anderson. 

He acknowledged there had been numerous problems with the current system. 

“We hear about it mostly when people can’t get out of the car park and have to call for an attendant to assist,” he said. 

The automated parking payment system has been a source of complaint since it was first installed in 2006, replacing a manned payment booth. 

Initially customers were able to pay with a card at the exit, but that machinery has not worked for some time and replacement parts are not currently available, Mr. Anderson said. 

He said a lot of the mechanical parts in the existing machines were no longer working. 

Other problems highlighted by travelers have included not being able to get change from the ticket machine and the failure of the machine to read ticket stubs indicating how much is owed. Even when travelers have paid and received a receipt, the machines at the exit gates sometimes fail to read the card and open the gate, resulting in motorists having to call a parking attendant. 

Mr. Anderson said U.S. firm Amano had been hired to replace the system last year. He said the new system would be basically the same as the old one, with the crucial difference that it would work properly. 

“You pull a ticket and you pay at the machine before you go back to the car. You can also pay by credit card either at the machine or at the barrier.” 

Some of the new barriers are installed already, but the payment machines have yet to be put in place. The new machines will not accept U.S. dollars. 

The government’s Internal Audit Unit was critical of the airport parking system in an October 2014 review.  

“Frequent system breakdowns impact the customer experience negatively and may lead to loss of revenue. Manual intervention by [staff] also increases the risk of errors and irregularities in the revenue collection and reporting process,” it stated. 

A workman installs new ticket gates and equipment at the Owen Roberts International Airport parking lot. The new system is scheduled to be operational by March. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

A workman installs new ticket gates and equipment at the Owen Roberts International Airport parking lot. The new system is scheduled to be operational by March. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

New parking ticket machines and barriers are being installed at the airport parking lot. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY

New parking ticket machines and barriers are being installed at the airport parking lot. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY
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8 COMMENTS

  1. Why has it taken so long to bring in new equipment. I used the short term carpark yesterday which still has only one ticket machine at entry (the other has been inoperative for 5 years at least).The one machine that’s supposed to be working did not dispense a ticket, possibly because nobody replaced the ticket supply, so I could not enter!!.
    Moreover I noticed that the staff car park next door does have brand new equipment at the entrance to process entry. Why are staff given priority when they get free parking?.

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  2. I wonder if the parking is a flat rate ? The paragraph, you pull a ticket and you pay at the machine before you go back to the car,that puzzles me I have never been to a parking lot where you pull the ticket and pay before you go back to your car. This sounds like we are going to have the same old problems as before.

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  3. Ron Clair, I’m assuming it’s similar to most other airports. You pull a ticket when you enter the lot and take it with you. When you return from travel you pay at the machine before you go back to your car and the amount is calculated based on how many days since you pulled your ticket. The machine then gives you a validated ticket back and you insert that into the gate machine within a certain amount of time to exit the lot.

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  4. If fixing the parking machine is any indication of how the CIAA works, the new terminal will be done just in time for the 2025 New Year!

    What does the CIAA do all day? There is not much activity at this airport, everything should be working.

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  5. There is a much simpler solution to all this – do away with machines completely then put in kiosks at the entry/exit barriers and use the car parking attendants to issue the tickets and collect the money.

    These people are already employed by the airport so why not use them? Right now all you have is human assets backing up faulty equipment and I don’t see that changing in a hurry – I give the new kit a couple of months before it starts causing trouble.

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