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420-space parking garage at Gainesville Regional Airport gets green light

The Gainesville-Alachua County Airport Authority met Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, and approved the petition for a 420-space parking facility.
Chase Goodman/WUFT News
The Gainesville-Alachua County Airport Authority met Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, and approved the petition for a 420-space parking facility.

The Gainesville-Alachua County Regional Airport Authority approved a petition at a meeting Thursday to replace the airport’s existing parking facility with a four-story parking garage.

The 420-space transportation facility and parking garage are expected to be completed in late 2025, although no details on the major development plan were available at the airport authority meeting.

One of the main issues with building this infrastructure is the drainage for stormwater. The drainage system manages and directs excess water to reduce the risk of flooding. The concern regarding stormwater drainage was brought up at a previous meeting, said Jason Simmons, a City of Gainesville planner.

“I’ve heard nothing from staff about actual drainage or environmental issues with this product,” Simmons said in response to these previous concerns regarding the infrastructure.

Lighting was another area of concern regarding the new transportation facility and parking garage as airport lights can negatively affect people’s homes in the area.

Airport authority members discussed how the lights could affect the homes around the area as they would be concerned that the lights would be shining into the windows of nearby homes late at night.

The members discussed the consideration of between 15-foot and 18-foot light fixtures to accommodate the new infrastructure.

Airport Authority member Jean Calderwood shared her opinion on this by stating, “I strongly support the 18-foot to give a broader range.”

The Gainesville Regional Airport needs this new infrastructure, according to people at the airport Thursday evening, who said they have difficulty finding a parking spot at times.

This was a common theme from airport visitors who said they believed the airport required an upgrade.

One airport visitor, who didn’t want to be named, talked about how they are excited to see what this new infrastructure brings to the airport and how it will help people in the area travel more efficiently.

Chase is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.