When most people think of air travel, their imaginations are immediately inundated with images of long lines, even longer waits, cramped seats, crying babies, and lackluster snacks. But for many in Western North Carolina, airflight is instead an opportunity to sail above travel terrors. Instead, private charter flights and personal planes signify freedom, privilege, and expediency.
You may be unfamiliar with the world of private air travel. That’s why we’ve done the research for you. Here are six uplifting things about private planes in Asheville and WNC.
There are more airports than you would think.
Across the U.S., there are around 300 airports offering scheduled passenger services. But these are only a small fraction of the 14,000 airports in the nation! North Carolina alone operates 498 public or private airports or aviation facilities. Some of these handle freight. Some are military operated. But many of them are private airstrips—anything from “a ribbon of dirt used by a lone crop duster” to hospital helipads to private family or community airstrips. Private-use airports are not typically insured to accommodate drop-in guests, so many owners require prior permission for landings.
In fact, there’s probably an airport near you.
No matter where you are in WNC, you’re probably closer to an airport than you think, even if it’s only used by private owners. Here’s a list (with public airports in bold):
- Asheville Regional Airport – AVL
- Mission Hospitals Heliport – NC95
- Six Oaks Airport – NC67
- Meyers Heliport – N39
- West Wind Heliport – NC84
- Cane Creek Airport – 4NC6
- Hendersonville Airport – 0A7
- Pardee Memorial Hospital Heliport – 90NC
- W.N.C. Air Museum Airport – 8NC9
- Chinquapin Heliport – 3NC8
- Jackson County Airport – 24A
- Reagans Roost Ultralight – 85NC
- Wolf Ridge Airport – 33NR
- Saint Lukes Hospital Heliport – 9NC5
- Wheat Field Airport – 56NC
- Summey Airpark Airport – 8NC2
- Clutes Hilltop Airport – 69NC
- Boomerang Airport – NC02
- Fox Haven Plantation Airport – 58NC
- Rebel Field Heliport – 39NC
- Rutherford Co – Marchman Field Airport – FQD
- Brevard Airport – NC16
- Transylvania Community Hospital Heliport – 97NC
- Transylvania County Airport – 22W
- Mountain Air Airport – 2NC0
Asheville had one of the first unofficial airports in the world.
The Wright brothers famously achieved the first successful airplane flights in Kitty Hawk, NC on December 17, 1903. A mere seven and half years later, Lincoln Beachey ceremoniously flew into Asheville on April 19, 1911. The American aviator made one of his pioneering flights through the mountains of WNC to show off his famous aerial stunts over the area then known as Baird Bottom (off of Merrimon Avenue today). When he touched down, Baird Bottom became Asheville’s first unofficial airport. The landing strip stayed in operation until 1923 and closed during the construction of Beaver Lake.
It’s easy to book a flight on private planes to or from Asheville.
Asheville Regional Airport is home to six airlines offering nonstop flights to almost all major U.S. cities. The airport has undergone a growth spurt in recent years, adding new routes on a regular basis. But for those living on their own schedule, it’s easy to charter a private flight to or from the airport. For instance, Charter Flight Group boasts the ability to “locate virtually any aircraft you need, be it for a piston to Georgia or an airliner for your group flight.” They can also help arrange ground transport, and even catering. Another service, Air Charter Advisors, offers a simple, pay-as-you-go jet charter service, whether you’re looking for an efficient, enjoyable, or extravagant private flight.
One local FBO makes it easy to own your own plane in WNC.
Asheville Regional Airport is serviced by one Fixed-Base Operator (FBO), Signature Flight Support. An FBO is the private jet terminal at an airport. In many cases—as with Asheville Regional Airport—this is a purpose-built facility, set apart from the main airport buildings. FBOs offer a range of services for private jet customers, aircraft, and crew. For example, Signature offers Asheville’s elite everything from wifi and snacks to flight planning, helicopter handling, and third-party aircraft maintenance and detailing.
And one local community operates the highest-elevation runway east of the Mississippi.
Located 35 minutes from Asheville in Burnsville, NC, Mountain Air is a community that embodies the soaring spirit of the mountain beneath its feet and the divine beauty of the forests that surround it. From championship golf and tennis to hiking, camping, and a complete children’s program, there’s something for everyone at Mountain Air—including frequent fliers. Mountain Air strongly supports aviation and pilots, who make up a strong percentage of the community’s homeowners. In addition to support through the Mountain Air Pilots Association (MAPA), the on-site pro shop offers a helpful concierge service. The community airstrip, at 4,436 feet in elevation, accommodates small jets and all general aviation aircraft and helicopters.
Live Abundantly in WNC
The Asheville area has achieved an international reputation for its sublime quality of life and available luxury services, including flights on private planes. Each year, buyers from beyond the region purchase a growing number of luxury properties, highlighting the area as an increasingly global destination. Indeed, Asheville has some of the most elegant and exclusive neighborhoods in the country. But the greater WNC region hosts even more luxury mountain homes of surprising quality.
From secluded tree-covered acreage near mountain peaks to cozy lofts in bustling urban centers or acres of pasture dotted with horses, we help you find the homes that match your ideal moments so you can harness them for a lifetime. Why wait?
Begin your luxury home search today, and Live Abundantly in WNC!