Aug. 27, 2020
California’s Van Nuys Airport: A Leader in Aviation, Business and Community Service
Van Nuys Airport (VNY), one of the world’s busiest general aviation airports, is a gateway to Southern California’s top business districts, entertainment centers and travel destinations. The airport is located 20 miles north of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the center of the San Fernando Valley. Together, VNY and LAX comprise the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) system.
Leading the Industry
Founded by America’s early flight pioneers, VNY was dedicated on December 17, 1928 – marking the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight – amid 80 acres of trees and farmland. From that day forward, it attracted legendary pilots, business entrepreneurs and aerospace leaders who helped propel aviation into the future.
Through the years, VNY served as a military base during and after World War II, a center for aerospace manufacturing, a famed air race venue and even a backdrop for Hollywood feature films. Today, the 730-acre airport provides a vital base for life-saving air ambulance, firefighting, public safety and humanitarian flights. With dedicated U.S. Customs clearance services, VNY offers a spectrum of aviation facilities and amenities to accommodate both domestic and international missions.
Fueling the Economy
VNY is a vital economic engine, annually contributing $2 billion to the Southern California economy and supporting more than 10,000 jobs. The airport is a self-sustaining branch of the City of Los Angeles, generating revenue through lease, rental and user fees.
VNY’s four full-service fixed-based operators and numerous aviation support companies serve diverse private, corporate and government aviation needs. It is home to approximately 200 businesses – ranging from flight schools and aircraft maintenance shops to private jet charter and management companies – that create 5,300 on-airport jobs. The airport also offers one of the nation’s leading airframe and power plant mechanics schools, helping to train the future aviation and aerospace workforce.
“In support of LAWA’s strategic vision, our Van Nuys Airport team constantly strives to achieve organizational excellence, enhanced security, strong business practices and exceptional facilities,” said Airport Manager Flora Margheritis. “In fact, over the past several years, airport tenants have invested more than $65 million in development projects. As the global aviation industry continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Van Nuys Airport is well-positioned for economic growth.”
Responding to the Community – Quieter Nights Program
While these diverse airport operations and activities bring many benefits, they also result in certain noise impacts on airport neighbors. To address community noise concerns, VNY recently implemented a new Quieter Nights Program that requests jet operators to avoid arriving or departing at night, unless the aircraft are conducting military, law enforcement, emergency, fire or air ambulance operations. This policy is separate and in addition to VNY’s partial nighttime departure curfew.
The Quieter Nights Program establishes the following best practices for reducing nighttime jet operations:
- Request aircraft owners and operators to avoid nighttime jet departures and arrivals between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
- Eliminate non-essential repositioning and maintenance flights
- Reschedule or adjust flight times
- IFR operations, file air ambulance flights with the letter “L” for MEDEVAC
- VFR operations, log and self-report to VNY any air ambulance flights where flight plans may not be required
“Being one of the world’s busiest general aviation airports comes with a great responsibility to our neighboring communities,” said Margheritis. “Van Nuys Airport has a long history of implementing robust noise mitigation programs ahead of the entire general aviation industry, and our Quieter Nights Program sets the standard even higher in our work to reduce nighttime aircraft noise.”
VNY is also strongly committed to serving as a valuable resource to its neighbors through building strong partnerships with community service and non-profit organizations. Each year, it sponsors events ranging from street fairs and student career days to disaster relief efforts and community service projects.
Achieving the Gold Standard
VNY works in close collaboration with its tenants, users and operators to support LAWA’s vision statement “Gold Standards for Airports…Delivered.” This means setting the industry standard for safety, service and sustainability.
In support of environmental stewardship, VNY is positioned to generate more electricity from solar panel projects than any other general aviation airport in California. It is also distinguished as the first business airport in the nation to offer sustainable alternative jet fuel on a trial basis.
With over 219,000 operations in 2019, VNY continues its rich legacy of serving as a valuable aviation, economic and community resource. For more information, visit www.iflyvny.com.
NBAA continues to work with LAWA, business aviation operators and other airport stakeholders to have meaningful dialogue regarding airport economics, noise issues and community relations. NBAA welcomes member feedback on this topic via e-mail to NBAA Director, Airports & Infrastructure, Alex Gertsen at firstname.lastname@example.org and to NBAA Western Regional Representative, Phil Derner at email@example.com.