Free airport parking saves nearly $70k for patients and carers
ROCKHAMPTON Region Councillor Neil Fisher believes running an airport doesn't have to be all about profit.
There's room for generosity too, especially when that airport is a council asset.
In September last year, council introduced a parking waiver at Rockhampton Airport for those travelling to specialist medical appointments under Queensland Health's Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme.
They were promted to introduce the waiver after The Umbrella Network and Department of Communities raised the idea.
It's a decision which has proved a remarkable success, with 1565 passengers using the service since its introduction.
Council figures show the program has saved $68,981 for patients and carers travelling to and from medical specialists.
Cr Fisher said taking away the stress of paying for parking or organising alternative arrangements gave people more time to plan their often stressful journeys.
"It has been a phenomenal success,” he said.
"We're still one of the only major airports in the country that do it.
"It's reducing stress for a lot of people going down for medical treatment.
"Having a council-owned airport, you're still able to operate the airport as a business, but you've still got a heart.
"We've been able to return back to the community that supports the airport.”
Emerald Airport has introduced a similar scheme, but it's something Cr Fisher said he would like to see across more airports.
Last year he told The Morning Bulletin Rockhampton would be happy to work with other councils and help them develop similar systems for passengers.