Reconnecting to business cities via smaller airports 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Some airports are seeing a steady increase in traffic over the past few weeks, and airlines are reporting the greatest volume of travelers since last year before the pandemic. With pent up travel demand, various factors may continue to influence this trend, such as greater vaccine distribution progress, flexible quarantines across some states, and more news of relaxed travel restrictions internationally. As travel continues to return, it should only serve as a reminder of peak travel days and likely airport congestion entering the spring and summer season. 

During peak travel periods, frequent business travelers can avoid the crowds at larger airports. Unlike major airports, flying from smaller or regional airports dedicated to general aviation and FBOs can make for a hassle-free experience. While smaller airports thoroughly safeguard with best practices for Covid-19, private travelers bypass time-consuming airport lines and security checks with expedited boarding of aircraft. These airports typically do not have scheduled airline flights, and are perfect for charter travel as they allow more flexibility around timetables due to having more available aircraft slots. Very often, these airports offer superior facilities, amenities for group travel also, compared to the main airport hubs. 

Regional airports are quite often nearby to suburbs and economic downtown areas By chartering a private jet to the more convenient smaller airports, you can access business areas in any city much more easily and directly. A major benefit private jet charter allows companies is to arrange for regularly scheduled flights on corporate shuttles according to their own custom flight plan. With corporate shuttles, you can book nonstop flights from point-to-point, even where there may not be direct flights or normal commercial airline service otherwise.  Along with the benefit of time savings and efficiency, the overall travel experience is greatly improved for those traveling, eliminating the need for connecting flights between pointslessening the chance of unexpected delays, and reducing any unnecessary exposure in overly crowded airports. For corporations that require employees to travel, this serves as a valuable solution to help maintain safety. 

Here are a few top private aviation airports for accessing some of the most popular U.S. cities for business.

Scottsdale Airport private jet charter

Scottsdale Airport (SDL) | Scottsdale & Phoenix, AZ

Scottsdale Airport is currently one of the top airports for general aviation, and has the second busiest runway in the nation. The facility does not have commercial airline service. Scottsdale Airport is home to numerous corporate jet aircraft. During the summer of 2021, the airport will be closed to aircraft for a runway renovation project.  Key industries in Scottsdale include tech, finance and insurance, real estate and rentals, health care and social services, and food.   

  • Distance from Scottsdale central business area: 9 miles north of downtown Scottsdale; 12.3 miles to Phoenix 
  • Facilities: 2 FBOs
  • Airport facts: Single runways. Operates 24 hours a day. With proper visas, customs and immigration allow travelers from all over the world. Scottsdale Airport recently opened the Aviation Business Center, which has a restaurant, public viewing deck and plaza. 
  • Popular private flight routes from Scottsdale Airport: Las Vegas, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Austin
  • Nearby: The Scottsdale and Phoenix area is recognized as a sports complex, with golf courses played during the PGA Tour and training grounds used by major league sports organizations including the NFL, NBA and MLB, and United Soccer League. 


Miami Opa Locka Executive Airport (OPF) | Miami, FL

North of downtown Miami and Brickell area, Opa Locka Executive Airport is dedicated to the business aviation in the South Florida area, with light cargo traffic to the Caribbean and South America, and immediately accessible via major highways. With of mix of chartered flights for business and leisure, OPF provides perfect access to Miami’s perfect setting for meetings while avoiding the hustle of the main commercial airport.

  • Distance from Downtown Miami: 11 miles 
  • Facilities: The 3 FBOs at OPF provide service for small single-engine private planes to large corporate jet aircraft, and has large aircraft maintenance facilities. The airport is served by several cargo and charter airlines that use the U. S. customs facility. 
  • Airport facts: Three runways, with one of the longest general aviation runways in the United States. Operates 24 hours a day.
  • Popular private flight routes from Miami Opa-Locka Airport: New York (Teterboro, White Plains, Farmingdale), Atlanta, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Dallas, Orlando
  • Nearby: A number of LatAm company headquarters and international finance banks, Miami is the home for multinational corporations. Downtown Miami's Brickell  is known as the “Wall Street South”), and South Beach has plenty of top hotels and meeting venues and restaurants.


Teterboro Airport (TEB)  | New York

Situated in the New Jersey Meadowlands, Teterboro airport is a 30 minute drive from Midtown Manhattan, the largest central business district in the world. Being this close makes Teterboro Airport a perfect arrival and departure point for private jets and corporate aircraft traveling nationally or globally. Getting to time critical meetings at the New York Stock Exchange, making a special appearance on late-night shows in Rockefeller, or attending major Broadway events, Teterboro is a top-choice for high profile travelers, executives and celebrities quick needing quick access to the busiest city in privacy. 

  • Distance from New York business areas: 12 miles from Midtown, 17 miles from Wall Street and the Financial District 
  • Facilities: There 23 hangars at the airport, 2 runways, 5 FBOs, fueling.  Accommodates helicopters, pistons, turbo props, and private jets.  
  • Airport facts: Restricted hours.
  • Popular private flight routes from Teterboro Airport: Miami, West Palm Beach, Los Angeles (Van Nuys, Burbank), Washington D.C., Chicago, Bedford
  • Nearby: Helicopter transfer is available for to the Wall Street Heliport in Downtown Manhattan.


Chicago Executive Airport (PWK) | Chicago

While Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) may be closer to the Loop, Chicago Executive Airport does not serve commercial airlines, like most regional airports. Chicago Executive is the perfect airport for the corporate traveler or recreational flyer headed to or from downtown Chicago or the north or west suburbs. With Chicago’s central location of the North American continent, it easily serves as a crossroads and meeting ground for many corporate travelers and business groups between the U.S. and Canada, who frequently fly in and out Chicago Executive Airport. Being so close to Chicago’s Loop is a primary reason major national corporations choose this airport.  Chicago Executive Airport is mostly utilized for general aviation. With one of the largest corporate hangars, private airplane owners and corporate aircraft owners use this airport facility.

  • Distance from Chicago central business district:26 miles
  • Facilities: King County Airport is a US Airport of Entry
  • Airport facts: Three runways. Three FBOs.
  • Popular private flight routes from Chicago Executive Airport: Dallas, Naples, West Palm Beach, Teterboro, Miami, Aspen, Denver, Columbus
  • Nearby: Chicago Executive Airport provides easy access to downtown Chicago and surrounding areas. Chicago’s Financial District, Theatre District and Manufacturing District can all easily access nearby Interstate 94.


Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)  | San Francisco, CA

San Jose Airport (SJC) offers much quicker access to the Downtown San Jose area Silicon Valley with only a 10 minute drive. Unlike other general aviation airports for the San Francisco Bay area such as Palo Alto Airport and Oakland Airport, SJC does cater to scheduled service commercial flights, however far less hectic than SFO, and still offering private terminal access. 

  • Distance from San Jose city center: 4 miles 
  • Facilities: A standout modern tech design, SJC is the smallest of commercial airports with  about 12.5 million passengers. Free Wi-Fi is available. Private and corporate aircraft are based on the opposite side of the runway from main terminals. 
  • Airport facts: Open 24 hours a day, 2 dedicated private jet FBOs. 
  • Popular private flight routes from San Jose International Airport: Los Angeles (Van Nuys, Orange County), Las Vegas, Oakland, Bozeman, Scottsdale, Seattle, Sun Valley, Dallas, San Diego
  •  Nearby: San Jose is the capital of Silicon Valley with major tech giants (such as Google, Apple and Microsoft, internet companies and startups. San Francisco is approximately a hour hour drive via Highway 101.


Van Nuys Airport (VNY) | Los Angeles, CA

Van Nuys airport private jet charterDedicated to non-commercial travel, Van Nuys Airport is one of the busiest general aviation airports serving private, corporate and government flights. Also, being in the motion picture capital of the world, Van Nuys has hosted numerous celebrity flights and film shoots. 

  • Distance from Los Angeles city center: 18m 
  • Facilities: Four major FBOs. Aviation-related services including repairs. The airport also provides a base and maintenance facilities for fire, police, air ambulance, search and rescue, and news media aircraft that serve the region. 
  • Airport facts: Two runways, four FBOs.
  • Popular private flight routes from Van Nuys Airport: Las Vegas, Teterboro, Salt Lake City, Scottsdale, San Francisco (Oakland, San Jose), Bozeman, Miami, Sun Valley
  • Nearby: The airport is a under an hour drive to the major movie studios and top recording studios, as well as the the big automotive design centres in North Hollywood and Downtown L.A.


Peachtree-DeKalb Airport (PDK)  | Atlanta, GA

Peachtree-DeKalb Airport provides hassle-free access to Atlanta, one of the top southern U.S. cities for meetings and events.  Like other smaller airports on this list, does not have scheduled airline flights. Though a smaller airport, based on the number of flight operations, PDK is the second busiest airport behind Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and 11th busiest airport for corporate jets. 

  • Distance from Atlanta central business district: 18 miles 
  • Facilities: PDK provides service for smaller general aviation aircraft, corporate and business jets, and aircraft charters. Over 100 hangars. There are plans to grow the airport.
  • Airport facts: Three runways, 1 helipad.  4 FBOs (3 fixed wing, 1 helicopter) at Peachtree-DeKalb with 24 hours a day operations.
  • Popular private flight routes from Peachtree-DeKalb Airport: West Palm Beach, Miami Opa-Locka, Naples, Savannah Hilton Head, Washington D.C., Teterboro, New York, Raleigh
  • Nearby: Peachtree-DeKalb is just north of the Atlanta. A 48 minute drive to Peachtree City Industrial Park. Over the past few years, Atlanta has become the top-rising destination for filming major motion pictures and television shows, and specialized content, and earned the title if “Hollywood of the South” and Peachtree-DeKalb is another great access point,  along with Atlanta Regional Airport-Falcon Field (FFC) for the film and television industry.


Miami David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport (DWH)  | Houston, TX

A privately owned Hooks Memorial Airport is one of the busiest general aviation airports and Texas and the U.S. This airport is close  proximity to downtown Houston supports government aviation. A great choice for business charter flights for small-engine to heavy jets and corporate aircraft needing to make it to the central business district.

  • Distance from Houston central business area: 23 miles  
  • Facilities: FBOs, VIP lounges with first-class service. 
  • Airport facts: Two runways. Operates 24 hours a day. 4 Helipads
  • Popular private flight routes from Hooks Memorial Airport: San Antonio, Scottsdale, Peachtree-DeKalb (Atlanta), Panama City (Florida), Baton Rouge, Austin, Aspen
  • Nearby: A major destination for business travelers worldwide, Houston is home to thousands of energy-related firms and dozens of Fortune 500 companies. Arrange a blackcar from David Wayne Hooks Airport for meetings at the classiest hotels (The Whitehall or Ritz-Carlton) or power lunches at top-notch restaurants.


King County International Airport  | Seattle, WA

King County International Airport, also known as Boeing Field, is the closest airport to the city center of downtown Seattle, south of Georgetown. Used mainly for general aviation and cargo flights, the busy nonhub airport also serves smaller commercial passenger flights and home to military and corporate planes. Based on its prime location to Seattle, the airport oftens sees the like of sports teams, high profile individuals, celebrities and dignitaries.

  • Distance from Seattle central business district: 5 miles
  • Facilities: King County Airport is a U.S. Airport of Entry.
  • Airport facts: Two runways, 1 helipad. Operates 24 hours a day, 3 FBOs.
  • Popular private flight routes from King County Airport: Sun Valley, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, New York City, San Diego, Las Vegas, Los Angeles
  • Nearby: Seattle is home to Amazon corporate headquarters and several Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Downtown Seattle. Explore the financial district, the retail district, the government district, the West Edge, Pioneer Square, and other neighborhoods.


View more airports in our Airport Guide for additional information. Also, it is recommended to contact a member of our team to ask any questions about chartering private aircraft based on your itinerary.  Our aviation experts can help you plan your flights and fly privately to any of your preferred airports.

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