Airport parking facility not ‘user-friendly’

February 10, 2014 - 6:47:33 am

A section of the new parking facility near the arrivals terminal of the airport. Abdul Basit

BY SACHIN KUMAR 

Doha: The temporary double-deck parking facility at the arrivals terminal of Doha International Airport is not ‘user-friendly’,  according to passengers. 

Lack of space and some basic facilities are among complaints about the new parking structure. 

One passenger said there were no elevators or lifts and due to lack of space, it becomes difficult for motorists to move and park, especially during peak hours at the double-deck facility, which was built last year and can accommodate maximum of 650 vehicles.

Due to the absence of elevators, passengers are left with two options. 

First is to lift the luggage to the first floor of the parking structure and the second is to wait for their vehicles near the terminal. 

“There is not enough space in  the parking area. Most passengers come in four-wheelers while parking slots are for average sized cars. It takes a lot of time for a driver to fit his car in a slot,” an employee working at the facility said, wishing anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media. 

“We have witnessed cases of cars hitting side poles as motorists try to park. We are under more pressure during peak hours when the number of visitors rises significantly,” he said.

Once passengers park their vehicles, then locating them is another challenge as parking sections do not have any number or identification marks. 

“All sections are alike which makes it difficult for me to find my car. Usually I remember the face of a security person standing in the section to locate it,” said a Qatari woman who had come to receive relatives. 

The metal-structured facility also makes passengers worry about safety as they use parking facilities built with brick and mortar elsewhere which give them a feeling of comfort and safety.

It is also difficult for people to take the help of guards in the facility because officially they are not allowed to intervene.

Helping passengers with their luggage and locating their cars will divert our attention from our actual work and will create chaos in the facility, one guard said.

Most passengers like to park their vehicles in the new facility because of its proximity to the terminal. When guards request them to park at a nearby facility they insist on parking in the new area.

“Parking space is not sufficient, especially for big cars and the absence of elevators to carry luggage to the first floor irritates passengers,” said Ahmad Al Jolo, Chairman, Qatar Society of Engineers. 

“Authorities should keep these things in mind while making new parking facilities and ensure that they are equipped with facilities.” The Peninsula

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