BOISE - If you’ve picked up a friend or loved one from the airport, you may have noticed long lines and congestion at the Boise Airport’s cell phone waiting area.
“I've had to wait clear out in the back area, circle a few times to find a spot,” said Jason Juker.
Finding a spot though has become much more difficult than in years past.
“It's a safety hazard to a degree, as far as people, especially when they have a plane come in. You've got a lot of traffic. Everybody is kind of, you know, one for all and all for one,” said Bob Bassick.
Parking at the curb isn’t really an option unless you want to risk a $100 fine.
The Boise Airport has proposed to not only expand but relocate the cell phone waiting area to help meet the growing demand.
“The current waiting lot can accommodate about 14 vehicles, which does not meet demand any longer. So, what happens is vehicles will back into drive lanes, they will circle the airport loop or they will simply park on the curb, all of which create a safety hazard,” said Sean Briggs with the Boise Airport.
Briggs says the new area would be located at the economy parking lost off Victory Road and Orchard Street and would more than triple the current capacity of 14.
“The new proposed expanded lot would accommodate approximately 50 vehicles,” said Briggs. “It would be a mile-and-a-half from the terminal, which is about a five-minute drive, but that falls within industry standards and what's important to note is it would typically be quicker to drive from that lot to the terminal than it would take for a person to exit their aircraft and be at the waiting area.”
Briggs says during the master plan process they did evaluate a number of areas where they could expand the cell phone waiting area and added near the economy lot was the best place for the airport now and its future.
“The proposed location would be able to expand over time. So, if 50 spots in five years or ten years were not enough, we would be able to expand that lot size,” said Briggs.
All to help prevent drivers from blocking traffic or circling the terminal.
“It's a great idea for safety and would definitely enhance it,” said Bassick.
On Tuesday, at a Boise City Council work session, council members discussed the airport budget that includes the cell phone waiting area expansion.
The council wanted to see alternatives for the cell phone lot and will make a decision at a later date.
The airport hopes to have the new cell phone waiting area completed by the end of this year.