Air Parks & Fly-In Communities

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sanman

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Feb 24, 2021
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238
But I'm curious, though -- how have most Air Parks and Fly-In Communities come about? How were they started up?

Did one or more like-minded people just say "Let's have an Air Park or Fly-In Community!" and started building homes together?

Or did there have to be some pre-existing airport or air strip that attracted people into building around it?

Or did it start out as a regular community where a lot of aviators happened to live, and which somehow veered into catering for this niche?

Have some communities been designed to become Air Parks and Fly-In Communities right from their inception?

Are there real estate developers who cater to the aviation community by spearheading such developments?

What are the trends on this?

What are the conditions or sequence of events which typically lead to the creation of such communities?
 

BJC

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Oct 7, 2013
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14,304
Location
97FL, Florida, USA
Florida citrus farmer built a grass runway in the middle of a naval orange grove for his private pilot son. Two major freezes within a few years destroyed most of the grove. The imperial government changed tax laws wrt capitalizing pre-production costs of new groves. Farmer concluded that he would be better off financially than to re-plant.


BJC
 

TFF

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Apr 28, 2010
Messages
16,162
Location
Memphis, TN
I would also agree that usually the runway exists first. A friend bought a private 3000 ft paved. Was in the process of turning it into one when he unexpectedly died. There is another private paved near by; open to those who know. Three houses, four hangars, credit card pumps, 11 airplanes all bought new. all for one person built as he thought was needed. It will be up for sale once he is gone. I’m sure it will go that direction. Both of these were for king air owners. I know a few more that fit this bill.
 

rv7charlie

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Nov 17, 2014
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2,380
Location
Pocahontas MS
No idea on percentages, but if you can dream up a possible formation process, it's almost certainly happened. The one where I live happened when one of the original members saw a long skinny strip of land for sale, talked to several other pilots based at the same municipal airport, and around six of them got together & bought the land. They pooled their efforts to grade off the runway, plant grass, and eventually installed runway lights. No real HOA as such; just a set of corporate bylaws that govern runway use/maintenance (runway is owned by a corp; each member holds an equal share in the corp), and a *very* limited list of covenants on the individually owned lots that touch the runway (basically 'no livestock').
 

BJC

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Oct 7, 2013
Messages
14,304
Location
97FL, Florida, USA
Another one that I know of was a grass runway, owned by an individual, that was purchased to be a base for the buyer's aircraft restoration service. Built a second runway, installed a road, sold lots, have a homeowners' association, retired to Florida and sold the airpark to a resident.


BJC
 

gtae07

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Dec 13, 2012
Messages
2,231
Location
Savannah, Georgia
Before I moved here, there used to be a little private strip just down the road on a guy's farm, with several tenants. He got tired of airplanes being abandoned there and shut it down. Quite unfortunate, because it's five minutes from my house.

See, it was quite literally right next to an interstate. Drug runners would land, offload to a waiting car, and leave the plane.
 

rv7charlie

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Nov 17, 2014
Messages
2,380
Location
Pocahontas MS
Before I moved here, there used to be a little private strip just down the road on a guy's farm, with several tenants. He got tired of airplanes being abandoned there and shut it down. Quite unfortunate, because it's five minutes from my house.

See, it was quite literally right next to an interstate. Drug runners would land, offload to a waiting car, and leave the plane.
That sounds like a perfect revenue stream to me. Keep a log of the arrival date & bill 'John Doe' $x/day until the value of the plane is approached, file a lien for the accrued tiedown rent. If nothing else, it could be a great side hustle parts business. ;-)
 

Bill-Higdon

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Feb 6, 2011
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1,694
Location
Salem, Oregon, USA
That sounds like a perfect revenue stream to me. Keep a log of the arrival date & bill 'John Doe' $x/day until the value of the plane is approached, file a lien for the accrued tiedown rent. If nothing else, it could be a great side hustle parts business. ;-)
Sadly a lot of those planes were stolen, if they were insured you might get the insurance company to pay.
 

JRC

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
24
Davis island KTPF Tampa where we Keep Tampa Pirates Flying ... best little Fly-in Community and home of EAA.org Chapter 1660 FMI 813-784-4669
 
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