Long time Living With Your Plane friend James Wynbrandt has written a feature on airpark living for Plane & Pilot magazine. The article mostly discusses “finding a residential airpark that’s right for you”.
Illinois’ 18 airparks include four that opened in the 1960s and 1970s. The oldest of the group saw its first operations in 1966 with another one in 1969.
All of the residential airparks in the state are listed as privately-owned. Eight of the fly-in communities are listed as private use only but five of them are open to the public, according to the information provided by the airpark representatives.
The hassles of traveling once the plane landed, coupled with the frustration of arriving at airports to discover there was no hangar space available for his pride and joy, set Draves to thinking there had to be a better way.
Here’s a good article in Plane & Pilot on residential airparks written by James Wynbrandt.
We list 25 open airparks in Arizona and one under construction. The oldest listed airpark in Arizona was opened in 1958 – Moreton Airpark located at Wickenburg, AZ. However, six more claim to have started operations in the 1970s. Since the turn of the century, six more fly-in communities have opened for business.
Alabama has six airparks listed in the LWYP directory and Arkansas has eight. Interestingly one of those in Alabama was opened in 1957 and two came on line in 1975. Another opened for business in 1992 while one is under construction and the final one opened in 2006.
Since there are a number of fly-in communities located adjacent to lakes, golf courses, mountains, etc., we think there probably are some B&B facilities or lodges associated with the airpark properties.
In response to your inquiries on property values for appraisals, you are right that it is hard to come up with a good one. The big problem I have found is the appraisers look for comparables and end up using lots and homes in the area that have nothing to do with the airparks. Kind of trying to compare a waterfront home to one in the desert.
Recently we’ve had several inquiries from individuals and small groups interested in establishing residential airparks. Interestingly enough, the contacts have come from several regions of the country indicating to us that the interest continues to grow in this lifestyle.
In the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster the question of adequate planning for your family and also your airpark should be a topic for discussion at the dinner table or your association’s next meeting (maybe even a special session).
Homeowner associations (HOAs) and the covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) that are prevalent at most residential airparks rule what and how you will live at the airpark you decide to buy into.
In 99 out of 100 cases, most issues that arise are settled amicably and for the benefit of all concerned.
The initial buyers, now interested in selling their airpark homes and moving, start seeking buyers and find that interest in their property is very low because of the perception that the airpark has failed.
If you are considering buying a house or lot on a residential airport, or even if you already are associated with such a project, there are several issues that are somewhat different than the ones associated with a regular housing development.