The Top 10 Busiest BizAv Airports of 2018

While 2017 was a transition year for business aviation, 2018 held steady; we did not wildly exceed expectations but we also did not sink below previous years’ levels.

Flight activity for 2018 in the US grew 0.9% from 2017, reflecting a steady but not meteoric rise in the market.

2018 also saw over 3,000,000 business aviation flights in 2018 – an impressive figure that has now held consistent for the second year in a row.

As usual, New York, Florida, Texas, and California dominated the private aviation market.

We take a look at which airports proved the most popular last year, and what these trends may reflect for the year ahead.

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New Players

The only brand-new airport to crack the top ten in 2018 was Chicago Midway Airport (MDW); while it is consistently within the top 25 airports in the US, this shift into the top ten reflects a growth for the Chicago private aviation market.

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Chicago Midway Airport

Although Van Nuys Airport has also consistently ranked in the top ten for business aviation in the US, it sat at #8 in 2017 and  skyrocketed to #4 for 2018, reflecting a 13.8% change YOY. Van Nuys Airport is the most popular airport for the Los Angeles area, and this growth further confirms Los Angeles as a huge market for business aviation.

Declines

And while New York City reigns supreme as the busiest private aviation market in the US, Teterboro and Westchester County Airports saw a negative change in YOY growth; perhaps business aviation is simply spreading to the rest of the country, thus reflecting a more even playing field, or perhaps there is another reason at play to explain the decline.

Though the decline for Teterboro was minimal, Westchester County Airport saw a 7.3% decrease in YOY growth – an astounding figure for an airport that always ranks in the top three busiest airports in the United States.

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Westchester County Airport

While not a major decline, it is interesting to note that Washington Dulles Airport fell from #4 in 2017 to #6 in 2018.

And finally, another surprising decline occurred for Peachtree-DeKalb Airport in Atlanta; PDK saw a decrease of 12.7%, knocking it out of the top ten airports for 2018.

Extra Commentary

Perhaps everything really is bigger in Texas – with two major airports consistently in the top ten for the charter market, it’s always interesting to note the growth or decline of the Texas demand. For 2018, we saw Dallas Love Field rise from #3 to #2, breaking the New York dominated streak. In contrast, Houston Hobby Airport fell from #5 to #7 in 2018, reflecting a 4.1% change YOY.

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Dallas Love Field

Consistent players such as McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Palm Beach Airport, and Denver Centennial Airport all remained in the top ten, with slight changes.

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*All data taken from the Argus/TraqPak 2018 Review.