A private airport is a facility that is not open to the public and is primarily used by private aircraft. Private airports provide services such as hangar storage, fueling, and maintenance for privately owned aircraft, as well as charter and rental services for those looking to fly in and out of the airport.
Statista reports that in 2021, there were 14,850 private-use airports in the United States, outnumbering the 5,211 public-use airports. The rise in the number of private airports can be attributed to the growing demand for private air travel, particularly among high-net-worth individuals and corporate executives. Private airports have become increasingly popular due to their convenience and flexibility, providing an attractive alternative to commercial airports. In this article, we’ll discuss the essential steps on how to start a private airport.
- Conduct Market Research
- Obtain the Necessary Permits and Licenses
- Acquire a Location
- Necessary Equipment
Conduct Market Research
Conducting thorough market research is essential to determine the viability of a private airport business. Here are some key considerations when doing market research:
- Explore the demand for private airport services in the local area. Create a survey that includes questions about travel habits, preferred modes of transportation, and interest in private airport services, allowing you to identify the size of the potential customer base and their needs and preferences for private airport services.
Another way to explore the demand for private airport services is to assess the overall economic climate of the local area. Consider factors such as population growth, income levels, and the presence of major corporations or industries that may require private airport services.
- Identify potential competitors and their offerings. Once you have a better understanding of the demand for private airport services in the local area, identify potential competitors and their offerings to know what unique value your private airport can offer to potential customers.
Research online and visit local airports. Look for information on the types of services they offer, such as aircraft storage, maintenance, and fueling services. Consider their pricing strategies, customer service, and reputation in the industry. It’s also important to talk to potential customers to learn about their experiences with existing private airports to identify areas where competitors may be falling short, providing an opportunity for you to differentiate your services.
- Determine the needs and requirements of potential customers. Conduct surveys and interviews with potential customers to determine their preferences and requirements for private airport services. Ask questions about the types of aircraft they typically use, the frequency of their travel, and the types of services they need. Consider factors such as parking availability, ease of access, and customer service. Evaluate the feedback you receive and tailor your services to meet the needs of potential customers.
- Analyze the target market and their spending capability. Examine data on demographics, income levels, and other socioeconomic factors to determine the target market’s spending capability. Consider the types of businesses and individuals that may require private airport services, such as corporate executives, celebrities, and high-net-worth individuals. Assess their travel habits, frequency, and preferences for transportation.
Such information can help you determine the pricing strategy for your private airport services, including the types of services and amenities you offer. Pricing competitively and offering unique services that cater to the target market’s preferences can help attract more customers and grow your business.
Obtain the Necessary Permits and Licenses
Obtaining the necessary permits and licenses is a critical step when starting a private airport business. It involves complying with local, state, and federal regulations and ensuring that all safety standards are met. To obtain these permits and licenses, you must submit applications to the relevant authorities, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), state or local governments, and regulatory bodies.
It is mandatory to inform the FAA about the proposed construction of the private airport, which can be done by submitting Form 7480-1, Notice of Landing Area Proposal. State and local aviation agencies also have their own sets of requirements. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), for example, requires site approval before you can acquire, construct, or establish a private airport facility.
Once all requirements are fulfilled, and the construction of the private airport is completed, you may proceed with the registration and licensing. In order to acquire a private airport license, you must complete FAA Form 5010-5 and comply with specific state and local requirements. In addition to the private airport license, you may also need to obtain other relevant permits, such as business and environmental permits, from regulatory agencies.
Acquire a Location
When searching for potential locations, it is essential to consider certain factors such as:
A private airport should be easily accessible to major transportation hubs, such as highways, railways, and ports, to facilitate the transportation of passengers, cargo, and supplies to and from your airport. This will also make it more convenient for passengers to reach your airport from different parts of the surrounding city or region.
The location must have adequate space to accommodate airport operations, including enough area for runways, taxiways, parking areas, and hangars.
Security and Safety
It is essential to have a location that meets the standards set by aviation regulatory bodies, ensuring the security and safety of both customers and airport personnel.
Another important consideration when selecting a location for your private airport is the availability of essential infrastructure to support your airport operations, such as electricity, water, and telecommunications services.
Once you have identified a suitable location for your private airport, the next step is to acquire the property either by purchasing or leasing it.
Establishing a private airport business requires the acquisition of necessary equipment to support air transport operations and services. Some of the basic airport equipment needed includes fuel storage facilities to provide fuel for private aircraft, communication systems to enable clear communication between air traffic controllers and pilots, and private airport lighting, which are essential for aircraft navigation during takeoff and landing.
How Hali-Brite Can Help
If you plan on starting your own private airport business, make sure that you have high-quality and reliable airport equipment, including airport lighting, to avoid malfunctions or failures that may cause delays or accidents. We at Hali-Brite can provide you with the best airport lighting solutions in the market. Each of our lighting equipment is FAA-certified, ensuring the safety of your private airport. Call us now at (218) 454-0956 or contact us here and get your free quote.