Private Jet Airports
Ask any business executive who travels by private jet what the benefits of his chosen form of travel are, and he's likely to mention access to a seemingly endless list of airports inaccessible via commercial airlines. This stands to reason since commercial planes are too big for many regional airports. Furthermore, the cost of serving many B-list destinations is prohibitive to their bottom line.
For charter operations the large number of available private jet airports, also known as general aviation airports, opens up a lot more opportunities for business travellers. In North America alone there are more than 6,300 general aviation airports as opposed to roughly 600 which service commercial airline traffic. In Europe and Asia the numbers are slightly lower but impressive nonetheless.
Private jet airports are defined as those which currently have charter operations based on the property, or at least have the necessary runways and faculties to accommodate private jet traffic. Some private jets can be as big as commercial planes, meaning runway restrictions will limit the number of airports they can travel to. But for mid-sized and light jets, even the most modest of regional airports can handle the traffic.
Finding a comprehensive list of private jet airports is as easy as doing an internet search. Data is readily available and organized by country, airport code, runway size, and available facilities. Your best it to begin searching for an airport in the country and region of your destination, and then go on from there.
One of the nice features of private jet airports is the scope of services they provide that are directed at private jet users. A corporation which charters a light jet for instance, will likely have ground transportation needs upon arrival. The airport will have operators who can provide that transportation in concert with the air charter company. Sometimes ground transportation is even included in the air charter deal.
Medium and large airports designated as private jet airports tend to have dedicated runways for private jet activity. Again, heavy jets and airliners are the exception, but jets from the mid-size class on down almost always have runways to themselves. This eliminates the delays that can build up on commercial runways and the time wasted sitting on the hot tarmac.
According statistics from 2005, the need for private jet airports does not seem to be diminishing at all. In the U.K. for example, 27,000 British planes designated as General Aviation aircraft were registered in the kingdom and another 900 foreign planes. These numbers are continuing to go up as more and more people realise the benefits of private air travel.
The EU Parliament even weighed in on the issue in 2008, passing regulation recognizing the need to encourage private air activity and securing access to private jet airports well into the future. The Parliament acknowledged that private jet activity is a vital part of the EU's transportation infrastructure and equally vital to the economic well-being of all Europe. Under the EU's leadership, private jet airports will be further developed throughout the region.
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