Australia

Airports off the hook over pricey parking

The Productivity Commission says Australian airports aren't ripping off drivers who use the carpark. (AAP)

The Productivity Commission has found airports aren't using their market power to rip off drivers with eye-watering parking fees.

In this world, nothing is certain but death and exorbitant airport parking fees.

But the Productivity Commission believes Australian airports are not deliberately using their market power to rip off drivers.

Instead, the commission has pinned the eye-watering fees on the value passengers place on convenience, the limited amount of land close to terminals, and the need to manage congestion.

"Many consumers resent the price of parking at a major airport because a few hours in a short-term car park close to the terminal building can cost more than an airline ticket," it said in a report released on Wednesday.

"(But) there is little evidence that the monitored airports are exercising their market power in car parking."

The commission noted there were many ways for people to access airports including by taxi, Uber, off-airport car parks and public transport.

"While they are not perfectly substitutable for those wishing to park at the terminal, they do constrain the ability of airport operators to increase prices significantly," it said.

"Likewise, the increase in the use of technology such as web-based apps to compare car parking prices provides consumers with more information about their options and the means to decide in advance rather than be hit with a nasty surprise."

However, the commission acknowledged there was an ongoing need to scrutinise airport car parks.

"Changes should be made to the monitoring regime to improve data to allow greater scrutiny of airports' car parking operations, including separately reporting the costs, revenues and utilisation rates."

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