Beginning in February, people will pay up to $2.50 per day to park at Manhattan Regional Airport.

A daily maximum parking fee of $2.50 kicks in Feb 1. The first hour is free. Each hour thereafter is $1 up to the daily maximum.

On Jan. 1, 2022, the daily max parking fee increases to $5.

Manhattan city commissioners Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance setting the parking fees.

Revenue accumulated from parking is intended to go toward paying off the parking lot improvement project. Commissioner Linda Morse wanted confirmation on this from airport director Jesse Romo.

“I want to be sure that the fees pay for the parking lot and that the city is not called upon for additional funding because the whole idea was that the fees would pay for the expenses of developing the parking lot,” Morse said.

Romo said he is fairly confident the parking fees will generate enough to cover the debt, but complications from the coronavirus pandemic may mean that the city government might have to find additional ways to cover the expense.

“It’s a difficult game of forecasting right now,” he said.

In December, crews finished the parking lot project, which increased parking capacity from about 650 spots to 862. Crews improved lighting, walkways and drainage as well. The project cost $4.5 million.

People can pay their parking tickets one of three ways: when exiting the airport at the gate, before leaving the airport at the pay machine in the main terminal or by using ParkMobile, the airport’s parking app, on a smartphone.

A lost ticket fee is $100.

Commissioner Aaron Estabrook asked Romo if this was a standard price at other airports.

“When you ask me if it’s standard, not really, but it’s hard to make that comparison,” Romo said. “When you look at airport parking at Wichita or Kansas City, they actually have staff at the gates.”

Manhattan does not have staff members working in the parking lot. “Because we don’t have that staffing, that resource there, we had to have a fee to have a placeholder,” Romo said.

The airport will work with a customer to refund the $100 if the person can present the proper identification, such as an itinerary.

With the lost ticket fee, Romo said internal and airport advisory board debated the price.

“You had to come up with a number that was high enough to make a deterrence, and not ridiculously high that it would just seem unreasonable,” Romo said.