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New parking lots at Midland International Airport mean no more free parking

On Oct. 15, the airport will start towing vehicles that are left in the old free parking lots.

MIDLAND, Texas — There's a whole new parking system at Midland International Airport.

"Basically a lot of it's the same things that it was doing before, but it's more up to date and supportable if something goes wrong," Justine Ruff, director of airports, said.

Those upgrades include new sealant, entrance and exit machines, cameras and parking signage when you approach the terminal.

"For everybody else, it takes a picture of your license plate, keeps track of when you came in so that if you lose your card for any reason, your ticket, when you leave, they can tell exactly how long you've been there and how to charge you," Ruff said.

In addition to the new parking lots, the airport also has a new inventory system.

A car with cameras installed on top reads all the license plates of the cars parked at the airport. Now, they don't have to write them all down by hand, saving them about three hours of work.

But all this fresh and new means out with the old. That means there's no more free parking.

"Our overflow parking, where people have been parking for free, that's all signed and on Oct. 15, we're going to tow the vehicles out of there that remain," Ruff said.

Everyone received notice about the change 90 days ago. The timing of everything new is also great since we're approaching the holiday season.

"Our numbers are back up post-COVID for travel, so that's helped a lot," Ruff said. "We've got a lot of people using the lots."

With over 700 more parking spots, MAF is fully prepared for more West Texans taking to the skies.

Starting today, the airport is going through their final acceptance testing, meaning everything new must work perfectly without any failures for 30 days. After that, they will enter the warranty period.