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Airport parking, 2.17

The Lincoln Airport has created a new "cell phone" lot where cars can wait for free for up to 45 minutes.

People picking up passengers flying into Lincoln have a new parking option.

The Lincoln Airport last month opened a new "cell phone" lot where cars can wait for free for up to 45 minutes.

Airport Executive Director David Haring said there's long been an issue with people waiting at curbside in front of the terminal, which is not allowed. There also has been a more recent issue with drivers from ride-sharing services like Uber parking in areas designated for cabs.

The new cellphone lot, which takes up a portion of one of the long-term lots, solves both problems, Haring said.

"It's been well-received," he said.

The premise behind it is that people can wait there until an arriving passenger calls or texts them and then move to the drop-off lane to pick them up. That way, they don't wait in an area they aren't supposed to but also don't have to pay for parking.

Haring said such lots are common at other airports, especially larger ones -- Omaha's Eppley Airfield opened two such lots in 2016 -- and it's something airport staff have been asked about frequently.

It's also a topic that airport administration had been talking about "for several years," Haring said.

Currently, the lot is set up in a temporary area that's partitioned off with concrete traffic barriers.

Haring said plans are to make a permanent lot in the next couple of years as part of a terminal road improvement project.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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