Busy isn’t an adequate description of life at Teterboro and Van Nuys Airports on a Friday evening the week before Thanksgiving or Christmas. Airplanes idling on the ramp, backed up on the taxiways, as pilots and passengers chafe at the delay.
On that single day, there may be as many as 1,000 aircraft movements at Teterboro and more than 1,300 at Van Nuys. Between them, the two airports regularly record more than 800,000 movements annually.
The island of Guam–geographically farther east than any other U.S. territory–likes to promote itself as the place where America’s day begins. Teterboro and Van Nuys might well claim to be the places where America’s business day begins and ends, as thousands of corporate executives settle back in the cabins of their business jets and hook up to the Internet to begin their working day or bring it to a close.
Both airports are major economic centers, supporting hundreds of related and unrelated businesses for miles around, from restaurants and hotels to dry cleaners and limo services.
Both airports are also located in the center of what were once wilderness and swamp areas but are now densely populated space filled with thousands of private homeowners. To describe the environment as “hostile” might be understating the situation, with noise and pollution as the two most often-voiced complaints.
Meanwhile, both airports continue to thrive. Charter operator The Air Group recently signed an agreement with Signature Flight Support to build a new facility at Teterboro consisting of two 30,000-sq-ft hangars and a 12,000-sq-ft office building. At Van Nuys, there are plans to turn the former Air National Guard site into a hub for propeller aircraft.
In this issue, we conclude A Day in The Life of Teterboro and Van Nuys Airports, with our report on the activities on the afternoon of Monday, July 25.