Private firms that operate airport car parks are allowed to determine their fees, the Transport ministry has said amid concerns over huge variations in charges among Kenya's three international airports.
Transport Secretary James Macharia told the parliamentary Committee on Transport that the private firms are allowed to set preferred fees, which the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) approve.
Motorists pay Sh60 to park for up to an hour at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi compared to Sh80 at the Eldoret International Airport. A minibus pays Sh70 to park at the JKIA for up to one hour while at Eldoret International Airport, the service attracts Sh200.
Details on parking fees at the Moi International Airport in Mombasa were not immediately available.
"The operator provides the Managing Director at KAA with a list of parking charges including vehicle type and duration ... the operator implements a parking policy that ensures parking services are offered to the users at reasonable and competitive prices approved by the KAA," said Mr Macharia.
MPs, however, questioned the variance in parking charges at the JKIA and Eldoret International Airport, saying the charges should be uniform.
"The rates at Jomo Kenyatta are way less than what we pay at Eldoret, what is the rationale for this? We want to promote Eldoret as an international airport and we believe the rates should be the same for all three international airports," said Baringo Central MP Joshua Kandie.
The MPs further questioned how KAA single-handedly suspended last year's proposed increase in parking fees at the JKIA following public uproar on the charges.
The KAA contracted a local firm, Diire Real-time Investment to manage parking at Eldoret International Airport in a five-year deal that will end next January while Kenya Airports Parking Services manages parking at the JKIA.