AIRPORT staff are doubling up as part-time traffic wardens to catch motorists trying to avoid new drop-off charges.
Leeds City Council has trained employees at Leeds Bradford Airport to patrol Whitehouse Lane, the road leading to the airport.
It follows the introduction of a minimum £2 fee for anyone wanting to drop off or collect passengers outside the terminal building.
The toll, which replaces a free 10-minute stop-off, has sparked the fury of users. Taxi drivers have launched a petition opposing the charge.
Some drivers have taken to using Whitehouse Lane, which has double yellow lines, to drop people off.
But anyone stopping on the road could now get hit with a parking ticket.
A council spokesman said: “The lines have been in place for several years and the council has a legal duty to enforce them.
“In recent weeks some airport staff have been trained by the council to carry out this role.
“They are clearly identified and enforce the double yellow lines in exactly the same way as our own officers.”
The decision has been questioned by Otley and Yeadon councillors Colin Campbell and Ryk Downes.
Coun Campbell said: “It sends out the wrong message because it appears to say the council is prepared to use its powers effectively to force people into the airport car park to get them charged.”
Coun Ryk Downes added: “Why are the council training up people to do this? I’m hoping the airport paid for the training.
“There was no consultation about this new charge, no market testing.
“The airport is a business, I understand that. But times are hard and we are all trying to survive and this is just another way of squeezing money out of people.”
The council spokesman said the council was not involved in the airport’s decision to introduce a drop off charge.
But he added: “While the decision may not be welcomed by passengers, we cannot allow the approach road to become a pick up and drop off area or, for security reasons, allow cars to be parked there. As a result, we will continue to enforce the double yellow lines.”
Parking on double yellow lines attracts a minimum £50 fine.