Car drivers who spend more than five minutes dropping off passengers at Edinburgh Airport will from Monday be charged three-times as much as they are now.

The move means drivers dropping off passengers within five minutes will continue to pay the current £1 fee, but those who take between five and ten minutes face paying £3, compared to the current £1.

The new higher fee was announced today and takes effect on Monday, just as the Edinburgh Festival concludes.

Edinburgh Airport said it is “continually talking to its passengers and has made these changes following valuable feedback from customers who have said that taxis using the [present] drop-off zone to wait for pick-ups are causing a lot of congestion”.

Richard Townsend, head of retail and property at the airport, added: “At Edinburgh, we work hard to make sure that we’re developing our services and facilities to meet the expectations of our passengers and airlines.”

But the local press is not enthusiastic.

Edinburgh Evening News today said the drop-off fees have been dubbed a “kiss and fly tax”.

Taxi drivers also do not welcome the price hike. Quoted in the same newspaper, Tony Kenmuir, director of Central Taxis, said older people and the disabled [who cannot reach the free facilities situated some distance from the terminal] would end up paying more.

Business Traveller readers appear firmly against drop-off fees (click here to read the recent lengthy thread about dropping-off passengers at Bournemouth Airport).

But airport authorites find them a useful cash generator because they cannot, as in times gone by, automatically raise airline fees year-after-year because the market today is more competitive.

And the problem with these passenger fees is that once the fee is established, airports can raise them further in the years ahead.