Private Airports Tips

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What Makes Private Airports Perfect for Air Charter Travel?

Private Airports: Perfect for Air Charter Travel

Private/public use airports are often perfect options for air charter travel. Sure, they may lack some of the amenities of the 500 commercial airports, but you shouldn't miss that quality time spent in a gift shop while waiting for your airliner to go wheels up. Private airports more than make up for this by offering major benefits to airplane charter flights.

The impressive fact that there are around 5,000 locations from which you can choose is a huge feature to busy executive travelers. Instead of a long shuttle from airport to hotel or business meeting site, you should enjoy a short commute to your final destination. Not only will you avoid long security lines, removing shoes and clothes, and having strange people looking through your luggage and laptop, your personal security is much higher. Without the unknown thousands of people at commercial terminals, most travelers using a private plane will be busy executives, just like you.

The privacy factor of using private aircraft is well known and appreciated. However, there is additional privacy offered by private/public use airports. The only people who will know when you travel, where you travel, and with whom you travel, are those you have chosen to inform. Unless you are constantly surrounded by the paparazzi, no one will ever know your departure or destination plans.

These are but a few primary features that make private/public use airports wonderful choices for private aviation.

Can a Good Air Charter Travel Broker Make Arrangements at Airports Close to My Destinations?

Making Arrangements at Airports

One of the many advantages of using a professional air charter travel broker is the wonderful service level they offer. Since brokers rarely own or control specific private aircraft, they are working directly for you , not any owner/operators. Among the benefits you will typically thoroughly enjoy: All trip arrangements involving your luxurious private plane will be managed by your air charter firm!

Because of their extensive experience, they have knowledge of many of the available nonhub and private airports, one or more of which are typically very close to your destination. This benefit alone, saving time, aggravation, money, and providing high-level convenience, makes private flying a superb experience when compared to commercial air travel.

Coordinating private jets, crews, departure/arrival timing, and in-flight services, airplane charter firms will also locate and manage your airport necessities, too. They can arrange for your ground (or helicopter) transportation to and from your departure and destination airports. Typically, you can just show up at your private aircraft, board, and – relax (or work, if you must). Either way, you will enjoy the ride.

What Are Good Sources to Locate Airports Near My Destination When I Fly Via Airplane Charter?

Airports Near Your Destination

With a potential of around 5,000 airports available to handle private jets, locating airports close to your destination might appear to pose a challenge. But, fear not, there are resources available that will help you locate the perfect landing spot for your private plane.

If you plan a do-it-yourself approach, there are some excellent sources of airport information available over the Internet. Sources like will locate airports throughout the world for you. You'll also get some basic information about the airports that interest you. performs a similar function and also gives you the option to sort this data by airport code (three digits), by state, or by name. Planning a trip outside of the U.S.? You can also locate airports throughout the world.

Another excellent source to coordinate your trip with an airport close to your destination is your preferred air charter travel firm. The best companies have extensive information on thousands of airports suitable for your airplane charter. You might save much time and aggravation by using the expertise of a top air charter firm as a resource to help you pick the best airport for your trip and your private aircraft.

Do Private Aircraft Have Access to the Same Airports Used by Commercial Airlines?

Private Aircraft Airport Access

In most cases, private aircraft have access to the same airports used by commercial airliners. While those who use private jets for their air charter travel often choose to use smaller airports, which are less congested and closer to many destinations, there are situations when large commercial facilities, including those classified as hubs, may be more convenient.

It comes as a surprise to no one that many airports used by commercial airlines tend to be more congested than nonhub and smaller facilities. Although your private plane may be a turbo prop or a light jet, you still have the right to the same landing consideration as a large commercial airliner. However, as with commercial travel, private jets must take their place in the often-crowded loop of public and private aviation aircraft waiting for permission to go wheels down.

If your airplane charter is arranged by one of the best firms, your private flights will begin and end smoothly, regardless of the airports you select to use. You should be aware that occasionally there are restrictions instituted by commercial airports on private aviation. For example, after 9/11, there was a period when private flights were prohibited from departing or landing at National Airport in Washington, D.C. In most cases, however, when you need to have your private aircraft use a heavily trafficked public airport, they should welcome you just as they do large commercial airliners.


Private Airports vs. Commercial Airports

Taking an air charter flight from a private airport is a discrete convenience for those who want maximum privacy and convenience, minimal waiting times and speedy departures, as well as reducing the uncertainty of delays likely with commercial airlines under tricky weather patterns. When tricky flying-weather conditions are possible, careful planning by expert travel specialists becomes extremely valuable. Utilizing a private flight under such conditions, ensures a most certain arrival since the flight can be carefully routed and scheduled, taking into account not only the weather conditions but also the precise conditions at the private airports landing strip.

Are there emergency services available at a private airport?

Emergency Services Available at a Private Airport

The size of the airport is relative; what may seem big in one locale may not be so big compared to Cleveland Hopkins Airport or Boston's Logan Airport, which have fine emergency services available.

But with smaller airports, there may be nothing more than a fire extinguisher available. Even if the field is operating a Part 135-airplane charter, the airport still isn't required by the FAA to supply emergency equipment. There may even be a question of who has jurisdiction over the field as far as fire department support or ambulance services. Locally, there could be a lot of private ambulance companies competing. Fortunately, most accidents that happen are minor. For example, someone may forget to put their landing gear down or runs off the edge of a runway. But for serious accidents, there may not be any immediate help. Before traveling on an air charter, you have the right to ask these important questions for your safety and the safety of the flight.

Do any companies have their own airports?

Corporations Keeping Private Airports

There are many companies that maintain their own private airports, especially if anyone at the company is a pilot. This happens often when the owners fly small propped aircraft to various places instead of air charter or the airlines. Some even have a small strip located next to their offices. Instead of getting in the car, they use an aircraft. The biggest advantage to having your own airport is availability, but there are times when weather conditions demand a skilled pilot at the wheel and a specific aircraft may be necessary to fly in bad conditions. If these requirements aren't met, you don't fly. There is also the upkeep on the runway to rememberand getting fuel to the aircraft.

How small is small for a private airport?

Sizing Up the Small Private Airport

Generally speaking, the size of a private airport is relative to the size of aircraft it serves. A small field may only have a grass strip, but be very busy. Conversely, a bigger field may not be busy at all. From an FAA air space perspective, size is defined by class and either controlled or non-controlled. The classes are A, B, C, D, G. Federal airways are Class E. Controlled air space has an operating control tower and in many places, when the control tower closes for the day, the air space class changes completely until the tower reopens the next day.

For private planes and air charters, check the chart to find out what class and airport is operating under and the protocols needed.

Will Private Flights Be Allowed to Use Any Airports Close to My Destinations?

Private Flights and Most Airports

Typically, your private plane will be allowed access to most publicly owned commercial airports and those that are privately owned but offer public use. A common list of restricted airports will include military, cargo service only, and privately owned/private use facilities.

Depending on your aircraft charter, you may encounter take off or landing issues at some airports. Private jets that require longer runways might have problems using some of the smaller airports. Using one of the Internet source options or your preferred air charter broker, you can learn what you need to know about local airport suitability for your private aircraft.

You should also consider the services offered by otherwise perfectly located airports. Some items to evaluate are landing/departing fees, ground transportation quality, and hours of operation. If your private plane is going to remain at the airport to await your return, you should consider the hanger and storage services being offered. As always, your preferred air charter travel firm can perform an experienced evaluation for you, saving you time and eliminating any confusion.

Can I use an airport near my home?

Air Charters Going Where Others Cannot

A main advantage to using airplane charter services is their ability to use the smaller airports when larger carriers or even a regional carrier could not. Most regional airlines require longer runways than some or most charter aircraft. Regional airlines must also have a certain amount of passengers to justify using airfields smaller than Class D. Even if you plan to use a larger business, a smaller plane can be used to bring you to a small field.

There are smaller air charters servicing small fields all over the country because they may be flying a small single engine or a mid-size twin-engine turbo prop. More times than not, the quality of service is better because of the small size. Another good thing about small fields and air charter is you can get in and out with few or no delays caused by late departures or heavy traffic.

When is a private airport not private?

When Private Airports Trade Freedom for Grants

The general and commercial aviation communities make up a big part of the economy in their local areas. However, this doesn't guarantee lots of extra money for improvements. Fortunately, there are grants available for owners to make improvements to buildings, add hangers or much needed security, such as fences, swipe cards for gates, lights and cameras. The trade-off is that owners must comply with rules and regulations pertaining to the grants to the letter, which some owners feel brings even more red tape to the field.

What is a private - public airport?

Defining the Private – Public Airport

A private - public airport is an airport that is privately owned, but publicly used. Let's say you buy an established local airport. They have a flight school, rows of hangers for planes and also sell gas. Anyone -- depending on the class of air space you operate in -- can land there assuming their plane fits on your runway. Since this is private property, the owners dictate the rules and policies, such as when people can buy gas.

As for services and operational standards, the FAA will keep a close eye on that. Safety programs have been put in place to protect the pilots and property. The FAA wants to see up-to-date records on rental planes, all lights in working order and staff and crews complying with regulations that apply to their type of service, such as a flight school orair charter service.

What defines an airport as private?

Defining the Private Airport

Throughout the country there are thousands of airports peppering the landscape. Some are big, some are small. Some are public and some are private. But are private planes and jets allowed to land at any airport they choose? The answer is no.

But what if it's an emergency? Even if a plane's landing distance is well within the limits of the runway, the answer is still no if it has been identified as a private – private airport. This means someone has done the necessary paperwork with the FAA and local authorities to install it for their personal use. It is defined on a VFR chart for private non-public use. Private - private airports are not governed heavily by FAA regulations, which means after contacting local authorities and the FAA field office, you could be on your way to having your very own airport.

Can propeller aircraft land on short runways?

Jet Plane Luxury Locations

Luxury private jets come in all shapes and sizes. Some jet makers, such as Cessna, manufacture propeller aircraft and jets, but are better known for one model or the other. Lockheed Martin is famous for its powerful jet aircraft, but has also created equally powerful propeller planes. The Cessna is known for its jet-powered line as well as well-known prop aircraft; if you have a need for small aircraft, you may find it tempting to compare prices, speeds, and range between the propeller and jet-powered models. If you must fly into remote areas with short runways, you may find it more advantageous to give up some of the advantages of jet planes for the ability some propeller planes have in landing on shorter runways. The ability to handle the short runway shouldn't be discounted. Ask your broker about the landing needs of each jet plane for sale, and evaluate it against the runways you anticipate using.

One of the greatest benefits of private charter aircraft is the abundance of locations available for clients to reserve a jet plane. As an owner, part owner or member of a private charter membership plan, access to private jet charter services including travel accommodations, flight itineraries and ground transportation are taken care of prior to the flight. Private charter jet companies have access to thousands of airports in the U.S alone, and some of them are used by commercial carriers, too, which adds a level of convenience to frequent fliers. It's important to note that air charters don't own or maintain their own fleet of aircraft -- private charter services are brokers of aircraft travel service, which means the number of aircraft at their disposal is not restricted by the size of their hangers.

What's the big advantage of flying into a private airport?

Private Airports vs. Commercial Airports

What keeps people coming back to private airports again and again? One advantage is the sheer number of private airport options charter jet passengers have to choose from. There are about 500 commercial airports in the United States. Compare that with the some 5,000 private ones, and for some, private flight becomes the only realistic solution. Another attractive advantage to the private airport for some is the exclusivity factor. Private airports are accessible only to private airplane passengers, aircrews, and airport officials and are therefore far more secure than their public counterparts. This extra layer of privacy and security is most helpful for VIP travels, trips requiring privacy, discrete voyages, and high level executives or diplomats wishing to avoid the press and situations that can delay or even prevent a timely departure.

How private is a private airport?

Private Airports - A Discrete Advantage

When considering air charter services, one advantage to using a private airport is the privacy factor. Diplomatic or corporate confidentiality may be compromised by taking a public flight, but using a private airport insures that travel details are kept confidential, including the destination, members of the traveling party, and potential return dates. Thanks to pre-arranged limousine service delivery right up to the airplanes steps and thus avoiding a public walk through a commercial airport, an additional layer of privacy is provided for any business conducted in transit. The best air charter providers offer true door-to-door service, rather than from airport to airport. When it comes to diplomatic or corporate privacy, such complete service is true private travel with major privacy benefits.

What are the services at a small private airport?

Services Expected at a Private Airport

Although an airport may be small, it doesn't mean it lacks helpful services and amenities. Complimentary cars are one such amenity. They are owned by the airport and are there for the use of the incoming travelers. You won't find this service at a big airport. In addition, some smaller airports such as, Hagerstown Regional Airport in Maryland, literally has a "red carpet service." Big aircraft or small, someone comes out of the fixed base of operation and places a red carpet at the door of the airplane. If you need to refuel at a smaller airport, someone will fuel your plane for you and maybe even clean the window. More importantly, you can call ahead to have an attendant there to receive you. If you're stopping for a few hours, some even have a bed to rest in. Most small private airports have an instrument approach, which is a drawn or written set of directions on how to fly into them if the visibility is low.

What Are Some Advantages of Using Smaller and Private Airports for Airplane Charter Travel?

Smaller and Private Airports for Airplane Charter Travel

There are some important advantages to using nonhub and smaller airports for the airplane charter travel executive. There is also one caution to consider. Not all privately owned airports are available to private plane fliers. Some private airports are available for public use while others are truly private. At these, even emergency landings must receive approval from the owner – not typically a useful option, as you can imagine.

Among the many benefits to private aircraft users of smaller facilities:

  • Privacy. Depending on the reasons for your trip, private flights are completely private. Your departure and landing schedule, number and identity of your traveling companions, trip purpose, and final destination are all hidden from public view.
  • Security. At nonhub commercial airports, there are many fewer travelers, lessening the risk factor of encountering someone with evil intentions. At privately owned/publicly used airports, almost all traffic is private aviation. The private jets using these airfields are typically occupied by others like you. Any risk factors are greatly diminished for obvious reasons.
  • Number of choices. While you are restricted to around 500 airports with commercial airlines, the menu of smaller and private facilities approaches 5,000 choices. Most often, you can locate a smaller airport much closer to your intended destination, which reduces both the time and aggravation factor when going from a terminal to your living or meeting location.

Are Private Aircraft Permitted to Depart/Land at Airports Classified as Commercial “Hubs”?

Private Aircraft and Commercial Airport “Hubs”

Many people are aware of a major benefit of air charter travel: using smaller local or private airports with less traffic and congestion. These local airports provide a wonderful, peaceful alternative to large commercial hubs. With the ability to leave from or land at these airports, both public and private, often save valuable ground transportation time to and from the terminal.

Yet, there are times, particularly with private jets used for business, that indicate more convenience by using a large commercial hub airport. Often business meetings and seminars are scheduled at hotels located at or close to large commercial airports. The benefit of choosing where to go wheels down at a smaller facility may become a disadvantage in this scenario. Fortunately, your private plane should also be welcome at most commercial airports, even those coded as hubs.

You will, no doubt, encounter more traffic, commercial and private flights, in the sometimes-congested sky around the airport. But pilots and crews, who are Part 135 certified by the Federal Aviation Administration, are equally comfortable touching down at commercial hubs or smaller local airports.


Private Airports - A Discrete Advantage

Some business communication is more sensitive than others. If your need for privacy is at a maximum, consider holding a crucial business meeting or presentation during an air charter flight. Airplane charter travel provides a meeting space free from potential clandestine data transmission via wireless devices or cell phones, and from intrusion by sophisticated radio and laser listening technologies. Private airplane charters can be arranged with as little as a four hour notice, giving you flexibility, communication security, and full privacy.

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