There were only modest gains for private jet travel in 2018 with negative growth in the second half of the year, and there was a mixed bag with the busiest business aviation airports as well. While 13 airports showed increases in flights, 12 saw decreases. California, Florida and Texas each placed four airports on the list, Illinois had two and while New York only had one (Westchester County Airport in White Plains) Teterboro (TEB) Airport across the Hudson River from Manhattan in fact was the busiest private jet airport.
There were over 200 flights per day at Teterboro Airport in 2018, tops on the list compiled by Argus TRAQPak, and more than double the second place entrant. That said, movements dropped 0.7% to 73,793. Second place Love Field (DAL) in Dallas had 35,442 flights on 1.3% growth while third-ranked Westchester County Airport (HPN) tallied 32,612 flights despite a 7.3% drop. Van Nuys Airport (VNY) serving the Los Angeles basin had 30,791 flights with 13.8% growth, the highest among the airports on the list. The 25th ranked airport was Salt Lake City (SLC) with 15,286 private flights, 42 daily flights.
While Van Nuys was the only airport in the top 25 to register double-digit growth, Naples Municipal Airport (APF) is southwest Florida saw flights rise by 6.6% while Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport (OPA) had a 4.1% gain. Orange County California’s John Wayne Airport (SNA) saw private flights increase 3.8% while Denver Centennial Airport (APA) business aircraft movements increase 2.7%
The biggest loser in 2018 was Atlanta Peachtree DeKalb Airport (PDK), which saw its movements plummet 12.7%, although hosting the Super Bowl in 2019 may make for a rebound. Private flights at Westchester County fell 7.3% while Dulles International Airport (IAD) serving Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia experienced a 4.5% drop. Traffic of private jets at Houston Hobby Airport (HOU) declined 4.1%, Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE) flights dipped 3.9% and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) had a 3.1% decline.
Ten of the 25 busiest private jet airports have no commercial airline flights and an 11th, Boeing Field (BFI) in Seattle, has minimal scheduled airline flights. Some examples of busy private jet airports you might never know about if you fly commercially include Teterboro for the New York City area, Van Nuys for Los Angeles, Denver’s Centennial Airport, Peachtree DeKalb in Atlanta, Scottsdale Airport (SDL) serving the Phoenix area, Laurence G. Hanscom Field in Bedford, Massachusetts, serving Boston, Opa Locka in Miami and Chicago Executive Airport.
To detractors of private aviation, which contributes $219 billion to the U.S. economy annually, as an example, Van Nuys Airport accounts for 10,480 jobs and $2 billion to the local economy.
|New York – Teterboro||NJ||TEB||74,277||73,793||-0.7%|
|Dallas – Love Field||TX||DAL||34,973||35,442||1.3%|
|White Plains – Westchester||NY||HPN||35,189||32,612||-7.3%|
|Los Angeles – Van Nuys||CA||VNY||27,060||30,791||13.8%|
|Las Vegas – Mc Carran||NV||LAS||29,424||29,291||-0.5%|
|Washington DC – Dulles||VA||IAD||30,550||29,190||-4.5%|
|Houston – Hobby||TX||HOU||29,434||28,219||-4.1%|
|Denver – Centennial||CO||APA||26,655||27,378||2.7%|
|Chicago – Midway||IL||MDW||25,623||25,100||-2.0%|
|Atlanta – Peachtree DeKalb||GA||PDK||26,673||23,277||-12.7%|
|Orange County – John Wayne||CA||SNA||19,956||20,720||3.8%|
|Boston – Hanscom Field||MA||BED||19,439||19,405||-0.2%|
|Seattle – Boeing Field||WA||BFI||18,594||18,799||1.1%|
|Miami – Opa Locka||FL||OPA||16,324||16,986||4.1%|
|Chicago – Executive||IL||PWK||15,584||15,667||0.5%|
|Ft. Lauderdale Executive||FL||FXE||16,254||15,613||-3.9%|
|Salt Lake City||UT||SLC||15,113||15,286||1.1%|