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Charlotte County Airport Authority increased parking rates at Punta Gorda Airport and celebrated the addition of two new Allegiant Air nonstop routes to Maine and Washington, D.C., during its monthly meeting Thursday. 

Airport Authority CEO James Parish said parking is the biggest change under the board’s rate and charges budget. 

Previously, the first hour of short-term parking was free. Beginning Dec. 15, it will be free for 40 minutes, but from 40 minutes to an hour will be $1. Each additional hour will cost $2 instead of $1. The daily maximum rate will remain the same at $24. 

“We’re trying to keep people out of short-term [parking] as much as possible, so that we can keep it open for usage,” Parish said. 

He said most airports have free parking for the first 20 to 30 minutes, and PGD will move toward that goal over the next few years. 

Long-term parking, which used to be free for the first hour, will undergo a similar increase with the first 40 minutes being free and more than 40 minutes up to an hour being $1. Each additional hour will be $2, while the daily maximum rate will increase from $11 to $12 per day. Free parking on the seventh day of a stay in the long-term lot will remain. 

Allegiant’s first nonstop flight from Bangor International Airport in Maine to PGD touched down Thursday afternoon. The seasonal flight will operate on Sundays and Thursdays. 

Kaley Miller, spokesperson for PGD, said Allegiant announced a nonstop route to Washington, D.C. The year-round route to Dulles International Airport will operate on Sundays and Thursdays. 

Board Chair Robert Hancik said the new routes will be a boost to the local economy. 

Raymond Laroche, director of operations and maintenance at the airport, reported PGD had its most successful October with more than 142,000 passengers served, a 43% increase from October 2022. 

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