Los Angeles is the second-most populous city in the United States, with strengths in business, entertainment, culture, sports and more. And thanks to attractions such as Hollywood and Long Beach, Los Angeles attracts both business and leisure private jet travelers. While Los Angeles has a wide choice of possible airports for private aviation, Van Nuys Airport is typically the first choice.

One of the world’s busiest airports for private jets, Van Nuys is just a 30 minute drive from downtown LA, and is the airport of choice for many Hollywood celebrities, politicians, and business executives due to its convenience and anonymity.

Recently, our Product Manager Arthur Montibert, and North American charter expert, Sam Roxon, visited Van Nuys to meet with personnel at the airport and to get an insider’s look into what makes Van Nuys Airport so special.

Here are ten things they discovered about the airport during their visit:

1. Van Nuys Airport’s creation is due to the era in the 1920s when Los Angeles was in love with flying. Many dirt strips were carved from farmlands for airplanes, and The Los Angeles Metropolitan Airport in Van Nuys, as it was first called, was the biggest.

Van Nuys in 1930 (Source: WaterAndPower.org)

2. Today, Van Nuys has four different FBOs for private jet passengers to choose from: Signature Flight Support, Castle & Cook Aviation Services, Basenet, and Clay Lacy.  (Learn more about What Is An FBO here)

3. While considered one FBO, Signature has two distinct buildings, each with its own unique aesthetic. Signature West is a modern building while Signature East is built in the Spanish-colonialist style.

Inside Signature West FBO

4. Castle & Cook has two buildings as well. The new building, which is smaller compared to the main one, has a very modern style to it. Both have their own entrance.

5. All the FBOs offer ramp access, which allows passengers to go directly from their car to the plane – so many private jet passengers don’t even see the inside of the FBOs!

6. One of the most popular routes flown by private jet charter is between Van Nuys and McCarran in Las Vegas, which is only a quick 50 minute flight.

Many passengers fly to Las Vegas from Van Nuys.

7. The airport was used as a background for scenes in Casablanca and it was also used for the filming of Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid departing in their plane at the end of the movie. Sadly, the famous farewell between Rick and Ilas, on a foggy Moroccan runway, was filmed on a Warner Bros. soundstage.

8. Van Nuys was also used as a filming location for an episode of the TV show Alias, and several episodes of 24 and Entourage, as well as the films Hell’s Angels, Los Horizon, True Lies, Lethal Weapon, American Beauty and Pearl Harbor.

Van Nuys is recognized in the background for scenes in "Casablanca"

9. The airport officially opened Dec. 17, 1928 – the 25th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first flight.

10. After World War II, the city of Los Angeles bought the airport back from the US War Assets Administration for the fee of $1.

For personalized private jet charter flights and prices, to or from Van Nuys airport, contact us or call our 24/7 Flight Team at (866) 726-1222.