A Rotorua man is frustrated about being charged a car parking fee each time his flight is cancelled at Rotorua International Airport.



John Paul College principal Patrick Walsh, who often travels to Wellington for Ministry of Education business, said he did not think people should pay for parking if their flight was cancelled.



The airport disagrees and says the carpark is a service separate from flights.



Mr Walsh said that on at least three occasions he had been charged a fee, of around $4, to leave the carpark after his flight had been cancelled due to fog.

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"Reception insist you pay for your parking," he said.



"It has happened on a couple of occasions and I think it is quite outrageous.



"If you are going there with the sole purpose of going on a flight then it is a bit unbelievable they would charge you for parking if the flight is cancelled."



He said it was more the principle than the cost which frustrated him.



Rotorua International Airport chief executive Alastair Rhodes said he had not come across the complaint before, but said parking was a service separate from flights.



"It is no different to any other carpark in the country," he said.



"If you park outside a shop and find the shop to be closed, for whatever reason, you still have to pay the parking."



He said it was reasonable to expect a charge for using a service like a carpark.

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He said levies or fees attributed to the flight were refunded but parking in the carpark was separate.



Mr Rhodes also said Air New Zealand was responsible for flights not the airport.



Auckland Airport has the same policy, with parking free for the first 10 minutes only, despite any cancellations.



The present car parking charge at Rotorua International Airport is free for the first half hour then $2 for every half hour after that, with special rates for long stay.