He said the system which was installed in 2017 would “never double charge” the customers.
Ngamata was responding to a query from a concerned customer, who took to Facebook to seek clarification if “anyone else often gets charged twice at the airport (car park)”.
In a post on the Rarotonga Community and Beyond page, the customer said; “I’m there regularly for work. I wait for the guest, then pay at the machine, then when I go to drive out it says ‘card is faulty’ and even though I explain to the staff that I have already paid at machine I am told to pay again at the booth”.
The customer said they had experienced this incident four times since the pay booth had been operating.
Ngamata said normally from the time customers enter at the payment machine, they have 15 minutes to leave the car park. He added if the customers stay for longer than that period, the machine would cancel their ticket.
“As advised, you have 15 minutes from the time you pay to vacate the car park. If you stay longer than 15 minutes, it will not let you out and when you go back to the pay machine, it will calculate the extra time you’ve stayed in the car park and charge you for that extra time only,” Ngamata clarified.
Under the automated car parking system, customers are not charged for the first 15 minutes after entry to allow them time to search for parking spots.
Thereafter, and for up to eight hours, vehicle owners will be charged $1 per half hour and the fee for a day (eight to 24 hours) is $16.
The charge for two days (24 to 48 hours) is $25 and a week costs $75.
The car parking system, which is said to be of same standard as that used at airports in New Zealand and Australia, has an entry and exit control terminal and barrier, automatic pay station database server software and hardware and card reading/encoding.
This system was introduced in a hope to double the revenue the Airport Authority has been collecting in parking fees.
The Airport Authority earlier said the investment was necessary to ensure an efficient parking system to overcome congestion problems during peak hours of the day.
The automated parking system is also expected to help the Airport Authority deal with vehicle owners who took advantage of the old parking system. During an inspection of the parking area in 2016, the authority discovered a vehicle which had been parked there for almost three years.