Q&A: First time airpark buyer’s questions

Q: My wife and I have looked at several airparks. It’s difficult to know where to begin, and what to look for in an airpark. Perhaps you could do an article on what a first time buyer should look for in an airpark. Does size matter? What about the runway? Does having direct access to the runway mean you have a prime location? What about the houses, does a ranch style house work better with an attached hanger? Is it better for the airpark to be located far out in the boondocks, or is it better to be close to the city?

Perhaps you could visit different airparks in the country and give detailed information about each one. Describe some of the residents and what they think of living in an airpark and get advice from them such as what would you tell a prospective new resident. I’m looking forward to reading the new articles about airparks.

Kenneth & Deborah Houston

A: Wow!

That’s quite a list of comments and questions you put together. I’ll try to answer many of them from my years of visiting with folks about fly-in communities and my personal observations.

First of all, I commend you for trying to determine what the important aspects are. Unfortunately, there are no set criteria for an airpark since each person or couple is different and the facilities need to meet their personal requirements.

I encourage you to download a copy of our Checklist to assist you in selecting an airpark. This can readily guide you through many of your questions and concerns, whether you are a first-time airpark buyer or an experienced pro.

As I mentioned above, your decisions must be based on your personal requirements. If you are a social type person, you might want a larger airpark. If you need help maintaining your aircraft you may want to find an airpark with people who have some skills in that direction. Do you have young children who will be going to school? That might mean locating closer to a city.

I’m not trying to avoid directly answering your questions. The answers I might give about one aspect or another may or may not meet your needs and that’s why I encourage you to obtain a copy of our checklist.

As form visiting fly-in communities and describe them individually as well as interviewing residents and getting their point of view on airpark living, I’ve visited many and use the info in explaining issues. But once more, what I look at and what you might look at can be so different that I could mislead you.

The Living With Your Plane website has links to about 150 different airparks around the country (and several in foreign countries). You can log onto those sites and get a good look at the amenities of them and then make some contacts to help you firm up your thoughts about a particular airpark before you spend the time and money to visit it.

Does your airpark have issues that you’d like me to address? E-mail your question to me at: ben@generalaviationnews.com.