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Airport parking upgrades are coming soon

I read with interest your recent article about the Medford airport. Could you please find out why there are so many parking places in the short-term lot that are never used. But the long-term lot is so full that finding parking is always difficult, and if we find a spot, it is always a long distance to the terminal. We are seniors, and it makes it very hard for us to use the airport for this reason. A possible solution would be a shuttle to and from the terminal. Has that possibility ever been discussed?

— Diann C.,  Applegate

During the past year, commercial airline traffic has created parking overflows on multiple occasions, airport Director Bern Case said. Sometimes, the overflow occurs on typical weekdays or weekends, other times on holidays.

"Adjustments have been made," Case said. "When we first overflow, we direct traffic from long-term to short-term, which is oversized by design."

When travel picks up, short-term parking serves the many comings and goings, he said.

"The proximity to the terminal makes this very effective," Case said.

When both long- and short-term lots overflow, he said, there is an additional lot near Mercy Flights on Milligan Way, which is gravel, and rates are discounted.

Case said expansion is in the works.

"Our goal is to keep all parking spaces within 1,000 feet of the terminal," he said, adding the average walk time from the farthest space is about 5 minutes. "At most large airports, 1,000 feet would still be short-term parking, without a shuttle."

At this time, shuttle service is not viable based on demand, Case said. However, baggage carts, sponsored by Hunter Communications, are available to no cost.

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