A guide to Van Nuys Airport (VNY)

Here’s an in-depth guide to Van Nuys Airport (VNY), outlining everything you need to know about one of the world’s busiest general aviation airports.

Van Nuys Airport runway image credit trekandshoot
Van Nuys Airport runway. Image credit: trekandshoot/iStock

The history behind Van Nuys Airport

Based in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, Van Nuys Airport (VNY) is dedicated to non-commercial air travel. It’s owned by Los Angeles World Airports, which also own Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). It’s recognized as one of the world’s busiest general aviation airports with an average of more than 230,000 annual takeoffs and landings.

VNY Airport was built in 1928, officially opening December 17 that year to mark the 25th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first flight. Back then it was called the Metropolitan Airport.

Today it features an FAA Control Tower and two parallel runways. One is an 8,000-foot main runway and the other is a 4,000-foot training runway. As well as being home to more than 100 business tenants on surrounding blocks around the airport, Van Nuys Airport also sees more than 600 non-commercial planes flying in and out daily.

Flights into Van Nuys Airport

The most popular Van Nuys Airport flights include routes to Las Vegas, New Jersey, and San Jose. According to research carried out last year by Paramount Business Jets (providers of award-winning private jet travel), the 45-minute route between VNY Airport and MC Carran International Airport in Las Vegas easily tops the most popular route list with 114 flights a month, totaling  1368 flights a year.

Second most popular was the route between Van Nuys CA Airport and Teterboro Airport, with a total of 747 flights per year, averaging around 62 flights a month. This was followed by Van Nuys Airport to San Jose International Airport, which sees about 42 flights per month, totaling an average of 498 flights yearly.   

Other popular Van Nuys airport flights include routes to Oakland, San Francisco, Aspen, Scottsdale, Monterey, Salt Lake City, and Napa.

Van Nuys private jet terminal and lounge

Van Nuys private airport is the premier choice for private jet passengers in and out of Los Angeles, due to its convenience and anonymity. With unique access to Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Malibu, it offers a relaxed setting away from the hubbub of Los Angeles International Airport.

Business jets frequent VNY airport. Image credit: Mark Weaver
Business jets frequent VNY airport. Image credit: Mark Weaver

It features an impressive 10,000 square foot glass and steel terminal, which includes private conference facilities, complimentary wireless access, services for business travelers, an on-site kitchen offering catered meals, and lounges for both children and air-crews. The contemporary waiting area provides a coffee bar that converts into a wine bar in the evenings. A secure parking area is also available, as well as 24-hour security. Operated by NetJets, this stylish terminal is only exclusively open to its customers.

The Board of Airport Commissioners approved a $40million development of a new Fixed Based Operator (FBO) at Van Nuys Airport in 2016. Jet Aviation in partnership with Gulfstream Aerospace put into action the building of new hangars, executive terminals, maintenance and fueling facilities.     

Charter a jet at Van Nuys

There are four Van Nuys jet charter options with FBO in the airport; Clay Lacy Aviation, Castle & Cooke Aviation, Signature Flight Support, and Jet Aviation.

According to Paramount Business Jets’ research, a large jet is the most commonly used for the two top-ranked flights with 424 used for the Las Vegas route and 398 chartered for New Jersey. Clay Lacy Aviation is a popular choice for chartering a large jet as the company offers competitive fuel prices and direct access to the FBO manager 24/7.  

In November 2009, Castle & Cooke Aviation received unanimous approval of a new 30-year ground lease for its FBO at Van Nuys Airport. Part of the new lease saw the redevelopment of two sites with the construction of a new 50,000 square foot hangar and office building, a customer service lobby, and a 75,000 square foot aircraft apron.

Signature Flight Support has a widely growing worldwide network of FBO sites, including VNY Airport. They’ve been praised for their warm and friendly service, with clean, comfortable and well-furnished facilities.

As mentioned above, Jet Aviation will have a new state-of-the-art 17-acre facility completed in 2019 at VNY Airport. Its features will include a 10,000 square foot FBO terminal, with shops and office space, as well as a 42,000 square foot tenant hangar.  

How to get to Van Nuys Airport

The best way to get to and from Van Nuys Private Airport is by booking a reliable Blacklane car service in Los Angeles. Guests can take the hassle out of negotiating local taxi fees with Blacklane’s trusted airport transfer. And with an unrivaled chauffeur service using handpicked professionals, guests can travel in style with complete peace of mind.

Hotels near Van Nuys Airport

Airtel Plaza Hotel is one of only four in California that has its own parking lot for aircraft. Inside it’s aviation-themed, which makes it perfect for plane-spotters and business travelers alike. The Van Nuys Airport hotel was built just before the 1984 Olympics and features 267 guest rooms and suites. Its dining options include Landings, which has indoor and outdoor seating and serves innovative Californian cuisine, Clipper Café, which is all day dining, and Clipper Lounge that has built a reputation for itself with its expertly-made cocktails.

Mature businessman in a hotel room. man lying on a bed, resting. Image credit: Halfpoint
Rest up at a nearby hotel when you stop through VNY Airport. Image credit: Halfpoint/iStock

Other hotels near VNY Airport include The Garland – a stylish boutique hotel set in seven leafy acres in North Hollywood. Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport, where guests can expect movie star treatment, is just eight miles away, while Hotel Amarano Burbank – offering luxury accommodation and world-class service – is another option.

Where to Eat at Van Nuys Airport

The VNY Airport restaurant is located on the northern edge of the VNY runway. It’s called the 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant and pays homage to the World War I U.S. service unit of the same name. The iconic restaurant was opened in 1973 by David Tallichet, a World War II Army Air Corps veteran who wanted to share his love of the military.

It’s styled on a French Normandy farmhouse and is an ivy-covered building that’s been whitewashed with exposed brickwork. Part of the restaurant has been designed to look as though it’s been hit with enemy fire.  

The interior is filled with war-time memorabilia, while windows looks out to a brick patio with a view of the airport runway. Real aviation enthusiasts can be provided with headsets on selected tables, which allows them to listen in on live communications between the Air Traffic Control tower and pilots.


James Massoud

James Massoud is an experienced, London-based food and travel writer regularly contributing to luxury lifestyle magazines such as 7* Life and the Kensington & Chelsea Review.