It makes sense that if private jets are able to provide a level of privacy that is completely unprecedented when compared to commercial aircraft travel, there must be some sort of alternative to public airports as well. The fact that you are able to access your private jet through an airport that is always crowded with people, lines, and paperwork to fill is a fact of life that almost seems unfortunate and asymmetric. However, you would be pleased to know that there are airports out there that are specifically dedicated to the purpose of private air travel. Forget about airports becoming glorified public pools, with the number of people giving you a level of claustrophobia that you have never seen before. In fact, for a lot of people who find flying stressful, a lot of it can be chalked up to the experience itself. Considering the amount of (necessary) security checks that one has to go through before being able to fly, it would be quite understandable if people were to feel an acute feeling of panic.
Why Public Airports Make You Feel Stressed
There are many reasons why the experience of a public airport can make you feel stressed. Before we get into what role public airports play in this particular framework, we need to first understand why stress originates in the human mind. Stress is a bit like an emergency alarm that goes on in your mind when there is some sort of prospective danger that you feel. This danger can be of harm to you or anyone that you care about. Essentially, stress originates when there is something out there that is acting as a danger to your reality, something that can break the thin glass wall.
Now that we have established exactly how stress works, let’s talk about airports. There are several hotspots in the process of boarding a commercial flight that can become a cause of stress. The first can simply be the location of the airport. For people who are living in large metropolitan cities, airports are generally away from the city center. This might mean that there is quite a lot of distance that they need to cover before they can reach the airport. During that long ride, anything can happen. An accident can happen while reaching the airport or even a traffic jam that can cause you to end up being late. The whole ride is stained with the thought of being late.
Now, once you have spent over an hour getting from your home to the airport, the next step is to go inside the airport and go through the tedious checks in order to board the plane. They are perhaps even more stressful. You could have forgotten your passport or some other vital piece of documentation that you needed in order to board the plane. There could be some issue with your luggage, and you could be put in a very compromising and embarrassing situation.
Lastly and perhaps the most obvious of the stress points is the sheer number of people in an airport. For people who have claustrophobia, public airports can be quite a hassle with the number of people triggering a stress response. If you have family members with you, you can be sure to always be worrying about where any children associated with you are. After all, this is a place that is crowded to its absolute limits and there are a million possibilities that can lead to imminent danger.
Now that we have talked about why airports can make you feel stressed and why that is a perfectly normal reaction to have, let’s move in on some of the best private jet airports that you can access around the world.
Paris Le Bourget
This airport is predictably in France and known mostly for being the host of the Paris Air Show that is held once every two years. It is truly one of the most magnificent events that are held in connection to aviation in the entire world. The city of love itself, Paris, also adds a layer on top that only makes the occasion even more special. In 2017, the attendance of the show exceeded 300 hundred thousand people, being a testament that the sheer popularity of this event. In fact, the Paris Airshow is the oldest in the world. The airport itself started being operational in 1911. For perspective, that is 3 years before the start of the First World War I.
However, there is one more face that this airport hides in plain sight. For people who are used to private air travel, the Paris Le Bourget is the busiest private jet airport in the entire world. The airport has three runways and is capable enough of handling any and all types of aircraft. The airport also has the most FBOs in the entire world. An FBO (Fixed Base Operator) is essentially a private aircraft terminal. Advanced Air Support, Dassault Falcon Service, Jetex, Landmark Aviation, Signature Flight Support, Unijet, and Universal Aviation France. There are indeed some big names amongst these which only speak to the importance of this airport.
Flying all the way from the city of Love to the city that gave us Bruce Springsteen, we are a long way from Paris when we are in New Jersey. Perhaps the most unusual thing about the airport itself is its location. It is much closer to Midtown Manhattan than most people would expect. This makes it an incredibly convenient mode of travel for people who are looking to travel by private jet. However, most people will not be able to take advantage of this convenience because the airport’s weight limit of 100 thousand pounds per aircraft means that commercial flights are strictly banned. In terms of the number of FBOs, which is an incredibly important metric when it comes to judging the service that a private aviation airport can provide, this airport has five, a respectable number that is only second to the Paris Le Bourget airport.
London Luton Airport
London is perhaps the cradle of modern-day civilization. From being the financial capital of the world to having an urban sprawl that is truly expansive in nature and scope, there isn’t much that you will not be able to find in a stroll down central London. This is exactly why London Luton Airport is out of the way of the city as well. For a city that dense, an airport simply had to be a decent way from the center. However, the good news is that the airport is only slightly over 2 miles away from M1, which means that access to the main city is not an issue at all for people who are looking to fly by private jet. There is also a train service that will take you to London in just under 30 minutes. What is a bit unique about this airport is that it is also a commercial airport. In addition to being a commercial airport, it is the single biggest airport in the UK in terms of private jet traffic. This is due to the fact that it is the de facto airport for people who are flying private to and from London. Considering the fact that London is one of the most urbanized cities in the world, one can’t imagine the number of executives landing each in London for their meetings. It benefits from 3 FBOs which are Harrod Aviation, Landmark Aviation, and Signature Flight Support.
Van Nuys Airport
We are back on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. In fact, we are now on the other side of America as well. You might have already guessed which city this airport is going to be in. Los Angeles is a city that lives and breathes in an air of music, art, and culture. For people visiting America, the big debate is always between visiting New York City or Los Angeles City. Since we have already covered an airport in New York, let’s cover one in Los Angeles. Van Nuys holds its importance in the world of airports because of a very specific reason. This reason is the fact that Los Angeles is the home of Hollywood. Every actor who has made it big visiting Los Angeles for the first time will most likely be landing on the private airstrips of Van Nuys. As the actor steps out of the plane, the air of Los Angeles welcomes him, with Van Nuys playing the role of the silent host. The airport had more than a quarter of a million movements just in 2013, with that number only expected to have gone up in the time that has been past. The airport is located in the famous San Fernando Valley and in the north of the city of Los Angeles. It also boasts 4 FBOs which include Signature Flight Support East, Signature Flight Support West, Castle and Cooke Aviation, and Clay Lacy Aviation. What is perhaps even more incredible is that the airport is only a 29-minute drive away from Hollywood itself. This means that you would be able to land in Van Nuys and be walking on Santa Monica Boulevard within half an hour.
Al Maktoum International Airport
Compared to the other cities on this list, Dubai is a considerably younger city and has only been on the map for a few decades. However, this can only be considered as praise for the speed of development in this city as Dubai now holds some of the most famous skyscrapers in the entire world. Dubai International Airport used to be the only airport in Dubai and was under duress due to the high volume of traffic that commuted towards Dubai. Al Maktoum International Airport, also known as Dubai World Central, has now become the premier option for private traffic flying into the Gulf as a whole. Considering the rapid pace at which the Gulf is developing, there is a good chance that people will be calling for another airport in Dubai in just a few years. There are four FBOs that operate at Al Maktoum International Airport, they are DC Aviation Al-Futtaim, ExecuJet Middle East, Jet Aviation Dubai and JetEx Flight Support. It is extremely well-equipped and one of the most advanced airports in the entire world. Perhaps the only disadvantage of this airport is that it is located about 40 kilometers from Dubai, meaning that you will have to endure quite a ride before you can enter Dubai.
These are some of the best and biggest private jet airports in the entire world. Some airports such as Courchevel airport in France would also be eligible for making the list as the unique set of conditions that they are operating under make them interesting features to cover. However, for this list, we were more interested in numbers such as the sheer size of the number of flights being flown in and out each year. It also must be noted that a private airport does not mean that all private jet types are allowed to land in it. There are some rules that are generally related to the geographical conditions of the airport that might sometimes limit it from accommodating large private jets.