Disability Parking at Airports

At many airports in NSW there are mobility spaces allocated for persons with disabilities. However, when you get your entry ticket - it does not differentiate between a disabled or non-disabled person. When you come to leave the airport parking lot, you have to pay for any overstaying that you have incurred - is this fee refundable as in other circumstances that you are allowed to park beyond the stated time?


I assume that you are referring to the situation in areas where the parking is controlled by the local Council where persons who legitimately display a Disability Parking Permit are entitled to free parking.

In Qld, it is free whether parked in a disability parking space, a metered parking space or a free parking space with a time limit, and there is no time limit for vehicles displaying a Disability Parking Permit.

However, airport carparks are privately owned and operated, and are one of the greatest legal rackets in Australia, so I would very much doubt you could get any sort of refund unless the airport is a regional one owned and operated by the local Council.


Fred the airport parking is owned by the local council! I wrote to them a few weeks ago - but mo response - hence my plea her.


Does your Council’s website have any useful information regarding disability parking in their area?

The TR&MS website page regarding disability parking lists parking behind a boom gate as Private Parking and thus exempt from disability parking permit concessions.


However, our local Council in Cairns lists free parking for all disability parking permit holders including both on-street and off-street parking areas, and the off-street parking areas are accessed via boom gates.

“Disability parking permits
• If you hold a blue Queensland accessible parking permit, you can use on-street and off-street accessible parking bays as well as paid parking bays - including pay-and-display spaces - for an unlimited time, free of charge. You are exempt from the general time limit in all traffic areas (eg a 3P zone).
• We recognise all interstate and international accessible parking permits. Please display your permit on the left hand side of the car’s dashboard.
• Holders of accessible permits are not exempt from parking in restricted areas such as loading zones or taxi zones.”


In Qld there are two types of Disability Permits. One is the Australian recognised one (Has a Blue and Holograghic Icon) and a State based Red one.

If displaying the Red Permit a person can use an off street Disability parking space or depending on some Local Governments eg Cairns you can also park in on street parking but not all Local Govts allow this concession in Qld.

If displaying the Australian one then you can park in any Public controlled parking space, whether metered or not, for free. However a private carpark area is not bound to provide this cost concession and all the permit allows is the use of a Disability bay if one is available and a time limit may apply eg if the private carpark has a 3 hour limit then regardless of displaying a permit a car may be towed etc if it remains after the 3 hours have elapsed.

A time limit may apply in other public parking spaces as well if the time limit is 30 minutes or less for that space eg a Loading Zone. If the time allowed is greater than 30 minutes then while a permit is legally used and displayed a car may use the space without time limits.