Flying Private in LA? Consider Van Nuys Airport

Dassault Falcon 50 taxing onto the runway for departure

As a private jet charter client in Los Angeles, consider using Van Nuys Airport (VNY) for your travels. Though a smaller, less well-known airport compared to LAX, VNY offers convenience and efficiency that larger commercial airports lack. Located just 20 miles from downtown Los Angeles, VNY provides easy access to the city while avoiding the hassles of a crowded international airport.

With over 33,000 private jet departures in 2023, VNY remains one of the busiest private aviation hubs in the country. For private jet travelers like yourself, VNY is an appealing alternative that puts you closer to your destination.

Introduction to Van Nuys Airport

Van Nuys Airport (VNY) is a public airport located in the San Fernando Valley within Los Angeles, California. Established in 1928, VNY is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world and a popular airport for private aviation. VNY handles over 200,000 aircraft operations per year, with private jets comprising a majority of operations.

Convenient Location

VNY is located just 20 miles from downtown Los Angeles, offering travelers easy access to the city center. Compared to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), VNY is less busy and congested, with shorter taxi and wait times. The airport’s smaller size also means private terminals and fixed-base operators (FBOs) are located closer to the runways.

World-Class Facilities

VNY features world-class infrastructure and amenities for private jet travelers. The airport has over 40 FBOs and private jet terminals, including facilities from major operators like Jet Aviation, Atlantic Aviation, and Signature Flight Support. These FBOs offer luxury lounges, conference rooms, crew rest areas, and ground transportation services.

Popular Airport for Private Jets

According to Private Jet Card Comparisons, VNY recorded over 33,000 private jet departures in 2023, making it the fifth most active airport for private aviation in the U.S. Major private jet charter and fractional ownership companies frequently operate from VNY, providing service to destinations across the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and beyond. For private jet travelers looking to fly in and out of Los Angeles, VNY is an excellent choice.

History of Van Nuys Airport

Van Nuys Airport was built in 1928 by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The airport served as a starting point for survey flights planning the route for an aqueduct. As the city of Los Angeles grew, the airport became a vital transportation hub. During World War II, the airport was used for manufacturing and testing military aircraft. After the war, the airport transitioned to focus on private and business aviation.

Growth As a General Aviation Airport

In the post-war period, Van Nuys Airport became one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world. Its proximity to Hollywood and Los Angeles’ business centers made it a prime location for private aviation. The airport set records for aircraft operations and fuel sales. Numerous aviation-related businesses set up shop at the airport, including aircraft charter companies, maintenance facilities, and aircraft sales centers.

Recent Developments

In recent years, Van Nuys Airport has focused on noise reduction and environmental impact mitigation. The airport has implemented noise abatement procedures, residential sound insulation, and other community outreach programs. Van Nuys Airport is also planning future upgrades to its facilities and infrastructure to ensure it remains a premier destination for private aviation.

Van Nuys Airport Location and Accessibility

Late afternoon light on the runway at Van Nuys airport in the San Fernando Valley

Van Nuys Airport is situated within the city of Van Nuys, California, approximately 16 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Its proximity to LAX and central location within the San Fernando Valley provide travelers convenient access to much of the Greater Los Angeles area.


Van Nuys Airport is located on approximately 730 acres in the heart of the San Fernando Valley. The airport’s central location places it within 30 minutes of major area attractions like Hollywood, Universal Studios, Disneyland, and Dodger Stadium. Additionally, several major freeways like the 405, 101, and 5 all service the airport, allowing for efficient ground transportation throughout LA County.

Runways and Infrastructure

Van Nuys Airport has two runways, 16R/34L and 16L/34R, both measuring 150 feet wide and 8,001 feet long. The airport operates 24 hours a day and is equipped to handle aircraft up to Boeing Business Jet size. On-site amenities include aircraft maintenance facilities, charter operators, and fixed-base operators that provide fueling, hangaring, and concierge services.


Convenient access and amenities have made Van Nuys Airport a premier general aviation gateway to the Los Angeles area. Its location in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, within proximity to freeways and attractions, allows travelers to efficiently connect to destinations throughout LA. On-site infrastructure and 24-hour operation facilitate efficient aircraft handling and a high level of service for those flying private.

Facilities at Van Nuys Airport

Runways and Hangars

Van Nuys Airport has two runways, 16R/34L and 16L/34R, that are both 8,001 feet long. The airport has over 130 hangars for aircraft storage, as well as additional tie-down parking spaces for smaller private jets. The ample hangar and parking space allows many jet owners to base their aircraft permanently at Van Nuys Airport.

Fixed-Base Operators

Van Nuys Airport is home to several fixed-base operators (FBOs) that provide fueling, hangaring, and other services for private aviation. Major FBOs at the airport include Signature Flight Support, Atlantic Aviation, and Castle & Cooke Aviation. These FBOs offer amenities such as passenger lounges, conference rooms, crew cars, and catering services.

Maintenance and Repair

A number of aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities are located at Van Nuys Airport. JetAviation, Castle & Cooke Aviation, and Clay Lacy Aviation all operate MROs at the airport that can perform maintenance, inspections, and repairs on a variety of private jet aircraft.

The presence of multiple MROs at the airport is convenient for aircraft owners who base their jets at Van Nuys. Overall, Van Nuys Airport has a robust set of facilities and services to support private jet operations.

Its location close to downtown Los Angeles, combined with competitive fuel prices and availability of hangar space, helps make it an attractive airport for private jet owners and charter operators in Southern California. The airport’s infrastructure and service offerings allow it to handle a high volume of private jet traffic while still providing a premier experience for passengers and crew.

How Busy Is Van Nuys Airport?

Van Nuys Airport is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world. According to the latest data, Van Nuys Airport recorded over 33,000 private jet departures in 2023. While this represents a minor decrease of 6.5% from 2022, Van Nuys Airport still ranks as the fifth most active airport for private aviation in the U.S.

The high volume of traffic at Van Nuys Airport is a testament to its popularity and convenience for private jet travelers in the Los Angeles area. Located just 20 miles from downtown L.A., Van Nuys Airport provides private jet owners and charter clients a more accessible alternative to the congested Los Angeles International Airport.

In addition to its proximity to L.A., Van Nuys Airport owes much of its popularity to its 24-hour operation and wide range of amenities. The airport features no curfew, customs services, aircraft maintenance, and ground support for a variety of private jets. It is also home to many private jet charter and management companies, as well as fixed-base operators (FBOs) that provide fueling, hangaring, and concierge services for private jet travelers.

With its strategic location, sophisticated infrastructure, and high level of activity, Van Nuys Airport is an appealing choice for private jet owners and charter clients traveling to or from the Los Angeles area. While the volume of traffic at Van Nuys Airport may fluctuate from year to year, its status as a premier destination for private aviation seems likely to endure for the foreseeable future.

Why Choose Van Nuys for Private Jet Travel?

Location Convenience

Van Nuys Airport’s proximity to Los Angeles provides convenience for private jet travelers. At only 20 miles from downtown LA, the airport offers easy access to the city within 30 minutes. Compared to the larger LAX, Van Nuys’ smaller size and fewer commercial flights mean less hassle navigating the airport and shorter wait times. The airport’s location also provides connections to the San Fernando Valley and greater LA metro area.

World-Class Facilities

Although a smaller airport, Van Nuys offers first-class amenities and services for private aviation. It features three runways, 24-hour air traffic control tower operations, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection services.

For private jet passengers, the airport provides lavish terminal facilities with conference rooms, pilot lounges, and on-site car rentals and parking. Van Nuys’ FBOs also offer concierge services to cater to passengers’ needs.

Popular Destination

As one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world, Van Nuys Airport serves as a popular travel hub and destination for private jetsetters and charter flights. Its heavy private jet traffic and wide range of based private jets, from light jets to large cabin business jets, make it an appealing airport for private flyers traveling to or from the LA area. Van Nuys also hosts many private jet and luxury events, attracting affluent visitors and private aviation enthusiasts.

Overall, with its excellent location, world-class amenities, and status as a premier private jet destination, Van Nuys Airport provides an ideal base for private jet travel to and from Los Angeles. For those seeking to fly in style and convenience, Van Nuys is the perfect choice.

What Movies Were Filmed at Van Nuys Airport?

As a busy general aviation reliever airport for the Los Angeles area, Van Nuys Airport has frequently been used as a filming location for major motion pictures and television shows. Its art deco terminal building and historic hangars provide an iconic backdrop that captures the glamour of early aviation.


Perhaps most famously, Van Nuys Airport was used to represent the airport in Casablanca, Morocco, in the 1942 film Casablanca starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. The film helped cement the airport’s status as an important landmark in aviation history.

Other Well-Known Productions

Numerous other classic films, like The Aviator starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Catch Me If You Can starring Tom Hanks, and The Rocketeer have also filmed scenes at Van Nuys Airport. In recent years, the airport has been featured in major blockbusters like Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Inception, and Iron Man.

The long list of television shows that have filmed at the airport include hit series like Mad Men, NCIS Los Angeles, Bones, and CSI. With its historic character and Art Deco architecture, Van Nuys Airport provides an evocative setting for capturing the glamour and adventure of the golden age of aviation on film.

Its starring role in so many beloved movies and shows has helped cement its status as an important cultural landmark. For aviation and film enthusiasts, a visit to Van Nuys offers a chance to step back in time and experience a bit of Hollywood magic.

Van Nuys Airport FAQs

Gulfstream G500 private jet

As a private airport located within a major metropolitan area, Van Nuys Airport (VNY) is a popular choice for those traveling by private jet in Los Angeles. However, there are some frequently asked questions regarding the airport that are important to consider.

A primary concern for many is the airport’s location and accessibility. Van Nuys Airport is situated approximately 20 miles from downtown Los Angeles, placing it within a 45-minute drive of most destinations within the city depending on traffic conditions. The airport is also located near several major freeways – the 405, 101, and 5 – allowing for relatively convenient ground transportation options.

In terms of facilities, Van Nuys Airport contains two runways, measuring 6,000 and 5,000 feet in length respectively, and over 700 hangars for aircraft storage. The airport also offers aircraft maintenance, fueling, and other support services for private jets. However, it lacks some amenities common at larger commercial airports like restaurants, shops, and lounges.

Regarding costs, landing and parking fees at Van Nuys Airport are typically lower than those at LAX and other area airports. Fuel prices are also often more affordable. However, tenants renting hangar space can expect to pay premium rates due to high demand and limited availability.

Finally, it is important to note that Van Nuys Airport has some operational restrictions. A curfew is in place from 11 PM to 7 AM prohibiting most takeoffs and landings during nighttime hours. The runways are also unable to accommodate the largest private jets, like the Gulfstream G650 and Bombardier Global 7500. Weight limits of 100,000 lbs maximum takeoff weight apply.

Despite some limitations, Van Nuys Airport remains an appealing choice for many traveling privately in the Los Angeles area due to its close proximity, lower costs, and dedicated facilities for general aviation. For most midsize to large private jets, VNY can serve as a highly convenient alternative to busier commercial airports.


You now understand the benefits of flying privately into Van Nuys Airport. Its proximity to Los Angeles makes it a convenient option. With high private jet traffic, it provides easy access to the LA metro area. Consider flying into Van Nuys Airport on your next visit to Los Angeles.

The smaller airport size and close location to the city center will make your private travel experience smooth and enjoyable. Van Nuys Airport has established itself as a premier private jet airport in the LA region.

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