Revenue from parking at the airport has fallen – but income per passenger has gone up.
Figures have been released by the Department of Infrastructure in response to a Freedom of Information request.
They show that between May last year – when a new cashless system using the RingGo mobile app was introduced – and the end of 2022, £297,866 was spent on parking charges.
A total £363,871 has been paid so far this year up to the end of August.
Statistics previously released by the department for the period prior to Covid show income from the car park was significantly higher. In 2019 it was £678,844, in 2018 it was £656,782 and in 2017 the figure was £608,942.
For the 12-month period from September last year to August 2023, passengers spent £552,060 - for the same period between 2018 and 2019 the figure stood at £682,413.
But figures released by the airport on its Facebook page show parking income per passenger has gone up. In August, for example, the per-passenger income was £0.79 compared with £0.62 in the same month last year and £0.64 in August 2019.
An airport spokesman said: ‘Whilst our overall income is down when we compared to 2019, this is because the passenger numbers are not back to pre-pandemic numbers (like many airports). However, our income per passenger is actually up when we compare with 2019.’
Between April 2020 and July 2021, no revenue was generated from parking. The original parking barriers were raised to allow access to the Ronaldsway vaccination hub during the pandemic and were subsequently found to have been stuck in the upright position.
The FoI response also give details of the number of parking penalty notices issued at the airport. These peaked at 257 in November last year. In August this year 125 fines were issued, up from 35 in July and 89 in June.
Further changes to parking arrangements coupled with a hike in charges came into force in July this year.
Under the changes, free parking in the premium car park is limited to 15 minutes, with charges starting at £3 for up to two hours.
In the green standard bays, which are slightly further away from the terminal itself, 30 minutes free parking is available and charges start at £2.50 for up to two hours.
Figures released by the airport show that passenger numbers in July were up 10% on the same month last year, from 49,547 in 2022 to 54,498 in 2023.
But the increase was largely due to easyJet having not operated Manchester flights in July 2022 so this added 6,352 to the figure for July this year.
In fact, passenger numbers on most routes were down. And total passenger numbers in July were well down from pre-pandemic levels – July 2019’s figure was 76,813.