I'm planning a Labor Day flight to a relative's house, and the nearest airport is a Private Airport that looks to be part of a flying community (multiple houses all with hangars directly off the small runway).

I have no experience with private airports.
If I ask nicely in advance, am I likely to get permission to use it?
Or are they likely to be protective of their privacy and airport?

I realize any answer can't apply in all circumstances, but I'm asking if its worth a phone call and conversation? or if I should just go directly to the nearest public airport?

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    $\begingroup$ A "no" you have a "yes" you can get. Give a call and the worst you'll get is a "sorry, I can't help you." $\endgroup$ – ratchet freak Aug 19 '14 at 15:13
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    $\begingroup$ Most of these airport have some sort of organization that sets the rules for use of the airport. I would contact that organization and ask them for permission. I have done this several time. Once or twice I was turned down because of liability issue/concerns since I wanted to stay overnight and they had limited (like one or two) tied down spots available. $\endgroup$ – JerryKur Aug 19 '14 at 16:33

Can't hurt to ask!

I don't know the specifics of the situation, but I would be willing to bet that your chances are better than you think. If it was one farmer with a grass strip and no accommodations for visiting aircraft you might be out of luck, but from what you describe it doesn't sound like one extra airplane on the ground for a few hours is going to make that much of a difference.

In fact, it might be that Fred (or whoever) will also be visiting friends for Labor Day and might be willing to let you use his ramp.

They can't say yes if you don't ask.

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    $\begingroup$ Don't forget to inquire about which fuel is available, nothing worse than landing on an unfamiliar airport and being stuck for a few days while you wait for a fuel truck to swing by with some AvGas $\endgroup$ – ratchet freak Aug 19 '14 at 20:14

Probably yes, if you follow their rules and pay the fee.

From the description you wrote, it appears to be similar to Lakeway Airport. Here is a picture of the runway which has houses next to it and have hangars built.

Airpark homes at Lakeway Airport

On their website, they did mention that it is a private airport but if you want to land there, there are some rules and fees which apply.

According to my little knowledge, you should always contact an unfamiliar airport first to get all the necessary information.

Good Luck!

  • $\begingroup$ sorry for this being off-topic but I looked at that airport's website and saw it is no more than \$50 to land a plane. Are there really people that own their own planes that balk over $50 to land? $\endgroup$ – Dean MacGregor Aug 19 '14 at 18:35
  • $\begingroup$ @DeanMacGregor I'm not sure. What I know is that people pay for hangars. Maybe there is some membership for those who have houses. You can call the airport to find out more. $\endgroup$ – Farhan Aug 19 '14 at 20:51
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    $\begingroup$ Not all pilots own planes. Many of us are in time-shares, or clubs where we rent planes by the hour. If I'm only paying \$100/hr to rent a plane, then \$50 to land is quite a lot. $\endgroup$ – abelenky Aug 19 '14 at 20:55
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    $\begingroup$ @DeanMacGregor Imagine hundreds of people dropping in every day, the 50 bucks is probably to deter that. And if they do drop in, 100 times 50 dollars makes a tidy sum towards that new taxiway that'd relieve the need to use the runway for taxiing... $\endgroup$ – jwenting Aug 20 '14 at 7:28
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    $\begingroup$ @DeanMacGregor The website says "\$50 Landing fee for all twin jets and turbines. $25 for single jets/turbines and helicopters." It says nothing about piston engines, so they might actually let small planes land for free. $\endgroup$ – bogl Nov 14 '16 at 15:20

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