Van Nuys Airport (VNY) is located in Van Nuys, California within the city limits of Los Angeles. Though it is used mainly for private and charter planes, it has quite the history. Most noted for its role in Casablanca, it has also been used for recent productions such as Alias and Fox’s 24.
With just 2 runways (16R and 34L), it was ranked the world’s busiest general aviation airport. in 2006 it handled 394,915 movements, nearly 1,100 per day. By comparison, Los Angeles International Airport (with 4 runways and exceptional amounts of commercial traffic) has roughly 1700 operations a day. The airport was the world’s busiest general aviation airport through 2005.
The airport is also home to the Van Nuys FlyAway Bus service, which provides non-stop bus service from the airport to Los Angeles International Airport. This allows travelers to park their cars at Van Nuys and not have to deal with driving to LAX or parking fees at LAX.
Van Nuys Airport is so well-known amongst pilots around the world that it was inevitable that a documentary would be made to honor it. One Six Right: The Romance of Flying is a film devoted to the history of VNY. Whether you are a pilot or just a fan of aviation, critics regard it as a “must see” film.
When I started flying I had no idea that I would be learning on a piece of history that is nestled in the heart of the San Fernando Valley. After doing some research and seeing how important VNY was to the world of aviation, I found myself proud to be taking off on runway 16R once a week. Something that many pilots will never get to do in their lifetime.