BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – North Central West Virginia Airport in Harrison County will begin charging for parking in the summer of 2022.

Charging for parking at the airport’s 330 parking spaces will help generate a revenue stream for the airport, but Director Rick Rock said the new revenue is not the driving force behind this change.

According to Rock, out of a family of five, four would drive their own vehicles to the airport, and this takes up more space than necessary. He hopes this change will encourage families to carpool.

“Free parking is great until you show up for your flight, and you can’t find a parking spot. We don’t want it to be something that is detrimental to the people that come here and have been so loyal to us. We appreciate them, and as we go forward, we just have to be able to maximize our opportunities the best we can,” said Rock.

The airport is expanding, and they will have additional year-round flight options, including to Tampa, Florida. Rock expects the expansion to be successful, and so the parking lot will need to be open for travelers.

The construction for the paid parking system is expected to be completed by June.

The cost of parking has not been set in stone yet, but the estimated charge is five dollars per day.