Bellingham International Airport is expected to be extra busy over the next two weeks, so officials are encouraging local travelers to be dropped off at the facility rather than park a vehicle.
The spring break vacation tends to be the busiest time of year at the airport, and as of Friday, March 22, the airport's 2,800 main parking lot spaces were nearly full and most of the nearby private lots were also almost full, Daniel Zenk, aviation director, said in a news release.
"Our motto is that we never turn people away, but it is a challenge during this popular vacation season," Zenk said. "Our regular lots are full and we are opening up new areas as quickly as possible, as well as allowing on-street extended parking."
While the Port of Bellingham encourages customers to park at the airport most of the year, during the next two weeks the port is encouraging travelers to carpool, take taxis, or get friends or family members to drive them to the airport.
The airport has 114 commercial aviation departures per week in March.
"We will maintain our policy of not turning people away, but our locations during this busy time may not be as convenient as people have come to expect," Zenk said.
Last March, 52,872 people flew out of the airport, the third-highest monthly total ever, according to data from the port. The highest monthly total, 55,407, was set in July 2012.
The port's parking provider, Standard Parking, will have staff at intersections to direct travelers to applicable parking lots. The airport is currently using four prepay standby lots set up to accommodate increased demand. As space in the regular parking lots becomes available, they are reopened to provide options for travelers, said Mark Leutwiler, airport manager.
For details and updates, visit portofbellingham.com.