Southwest, the largest carrier at Bob Hope Airport, reported gains in passenger traffic this past August.

Southwest, the largest carrier at Bob Hope Airport, reported gains in passenger traffic this past August. (Times Community News / October 1, 2012)

Parking revenues and passenger figures at Bob Hope Airport continued to sink in August, each coming in more than 7% lower than a year ago, according to the latest report.

Parking revenues slid roughly 8.2% in August compared to the same period last year, according to statistics released to the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority on Monday. The drop came after declines of 10.7% in July, 7.3% in June and 8.7% in May.

The airfield also reported $1.5 million in revenues from parking fees in August, compared to $1.6 million last year.

Dan Feger, the airport’s executive director, said the parking-revenue drop moved in tandem with a 7.65% decrease in the number of passengers, but it’s also due to the fact that more drivers are dropping passengers off at the curb in front of the terminal.

There were 362,763 passengers who traveled through the airport in August, compared to 392,826 in August 2011.

He said a new pricing structure for valet parking was implemented last month in an effort to boost parking revenues. Airport authority members approved changing the valet fee to $3 for the first half-hour to match the rate charged to use the short-term parking structure.

With both initial rates the same, large signs will be installed in the next few weeks letting drivers know about the first 30-minute option in an effort to drive up revenues from short-term parking.

There is currently a large sign that tells drivers it costs $31 a day to park in the short-term structure.

If drivers know they can pay only $3 for the first half-hour, they may be more inclined to accompany passengers into the terminal, according to airport officials.

Feger said the revenue and passenger declines reflect the pull-out of American Airlines in February.

“There is no escaping the fact that we are seeing a decline in the number of passengers using this airport,” Feger said.

The airlines independently reported a mixed bag of passenger tallies in August with Southwest — which handles the majority of Bob Hope Airport flights — and United seeing increases, while Alaska, JetBlue and U.S. Airways saw fewer customers, Feger added.

Delta’s passenger count remained basically flat.

Since January, the airport has handled 2.71 million passengers, a 5.2% decrease from 2.86 million passengers in August 2011.

Other airports in the region — John Wayne, Long Beach and Los Angeles International — reported passenger increases, except Ontario International Airport, where there was a 3.6% decrease.

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