What happens to cars that are parked for 1+ years at the Huntsville airport?

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- A WHNT News 19 viewer sent us this photo of a car that he and others had noticed has been parked on an upper level in the parking garage at the Huntsville International Airport for over a year...its license plate expired in 2016.

And that prompted the question: What happens to vehicles when they appear to be abandoned in an airport parking garage/lot? Does anyone notice or do anything about it?

We asked officials at the Huntsville International Airport about this specific car. And it turns out, cars being parked long-term (1+ years) is not uncommon.

The garage is routinely checked by public safety officials for cars that have been parked for 6+ months. At the time, the tags are run to check and see if the car may be stolen, or if the owner has been reported as missing or deceased. If everything with the listed owner checks out as all clear, a letter is sent to the home address alerting the owner that their car is still parked at the airport.

It is appropriate to say that occasionally our airport has had cars picked up after being left in our garage for an extended period of time. It is not unusual for a vehicle to be left here as our customers travel outside of North Alabama. We are happy to allow them to park their vehicles here for the entirety of their trip. - HSV Public Relations Office

A car can be parked at the airport for any amount of travel time -- the owner just needs to be prepared to pay a hefty parking fee when they return!