Live to Fly: Charter Planes in the Backyard
Some love flying so much, they don’t mind the sound of a jet engine breaking the sound barrier within their walls. For the truly high fliers who forgo charter planes to fly their own aircraft and even park it in the garage, there is the residential airpark. A residential airpark gives new meaning to the phrase ‘flying close to home.’ Often run by a developer or under private ownership, many of these residential airparks or fly-in communities feature a runway as well as hangars just steps away from your front door. And in some cases, you can park your plane right inside your garage. Spread across the US, a number of residential airparks exist, but these are among the most prestigious, home to celebrities and the Fortune 500 crowd.
Jumbolair Aviation Estates, Ocala, FL
If there was a Michelin rating for residential airparks, then Jumbolair would be the one with the three stars. Known for harbouring the private jets of celebrity pilot John Travolta, who owns property here, this gated community is centered around one of the longest private paved and lighted runways, at 7,550-feet paved long. The airpark is surrounded by rolling hills and green pastures and you can build a house here on more than two acres of land. Residents have access to all the amenities, including a ballroom for a wedding, cotillion or other special occasion. When guests arrive, there’s extra parking for charter planes.
Spruce Creek Fly-in Community, Spruce Creek, FL
Another well-known Florida aviation community is Spruce Creek, built on a former navy airfield in the Second World War. It’s nestled just a few miles south of Daytona Beach and the famed NASCAR Daytona International Speedway. This fly-in community has a lighted 4,000-ft. runway that uses a GPS approach and can accommodate any kind of aircraft from a vintage Stearman twin prop to Gulfstream charter planes. Currently, there are more than 5,000 residents that live in the 1,300 immaculately groomed homes at this private, gated airpark village that features 700 hangars.
Pegasus Airpark, Queen Creek, AZ
What makes this airpark appealing to jetsetters is its quiet and scenic location that is located away from congestion of the inner-city, but is only 12 miles from the Superstition Freeway, which leads into downtown Phoenix. This gated community, located near horse and hiking trails of the beautiful San Tan Mountains, is built around a 5,000-by-60 ft. east-to west runway, which is able to accommodate private jets. The FBO area also provides hangar condominiums, tie downs and fuel service, while properties in the airpark away from the taxiway are ideal for a rancher as they are 1-to1.3 acres in size. Many residents enjoy a lifestyle that includes equestrian activities, with a horse stable on their property, along with access to their own aircraft and hangar.