If you've flown into or out of Dallas Love Field recently, then you've most likely experienced firsthand that the airport is as busy as it's ever been.
Since the Wright Amendment went away in 2014, allowing Southwest and other airlines at Love Field to add more destinations and flights, the number of passengers using the airport has climbed from approximately 4.7 million to more than 7.8 million annually.
But over that same time period, the number of parking spots at Love Field remained largely unchanged.
"Unfortunately, we realized we needed a new garage in the worst possible circumstance -- when we ran out of parking during Thanksgiving of 2014," said Mark Duebner, Director of Aviation for the City of Dallas, which owns and operates Love Field. "We have been on a mad dash to get this done."
That's not the only time they've run out of parking at the airport -- which is why airport officials and the airlines were all smiles Thursday, when they officially opened the new "Garage C" to the public.
"After years of having to say 'we're full', today we can say come on in and park by the front door," said Steve Sisneros, Managing Director of Airport Affairs for Southwest Airlines.
The new garage adds 5,000 spaces -- 4,000 general and 1,000 valet -- which nearly doubles the airport's total parking capacity.
New, lower rates for parking spots also went into effect Thursday.
Airport officials hope the price reduction will help them stay competitive with other options passengers have to get to the airport, such as ride sharing services.
The new rates are as follows:
All Parking: $15 per day
Covered Parking: $9 per day
Uncovered Parking: $7 per day
Covered Parking: $15 per day
Uncovered Parking: $13 per day
Premium Parking: $25 per day
Valet: $26 per day