America's Best Fly-In Communities

By Jason Zilberbrand

September 28, 2021 Educational

Have you ever envisioned yourself living in one of the many distinguished fly-in communities located across the United States? Maybe you’ve had dreams of owning your aircraft and having easy access to an airport nearby. You aren’t the only one!

Fly-in communities exist to make it easier for aircraft owners to own a home with aircraft accessibility built right in. However, many owners/operators have either never heard of fly-in communities or wouldn’t know where to start when residing in one.

The truth is, some of the absolute best fly-in communities are located right here in the U.S. In addition, they come with some pretty impressive amenities. We’ll walk you through what they are, their benefits, and more.

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What Is A Fly-In Community?

A fly-in community is also known as a residential airpark or aviation community. And they’re super convenient for pilots and other aircraft owners alike.

Fly-in communities are extremely exclusive and typically are gated. They offer a runway as its main street and look like a small town. Attached to each home include typical garages for cars. However, they also include hangars for privately-owned planes. These runways have a unique design, leading right up to each hangar for pilots to park their aircraft right next to their homes.

Picture it... You wake up on a gorgeous day with a fresh cup of coffee in hand. Next thing you know, you’re out the door with the ability to step right into your aircraft, ready for take-off. This is exactly what fly-in communities offer, and they often attract some fairly famous buyers. For example, big-name stars such as John Travolta and Tom Cruise live or have lived in fly-in communities.

Here’s what you need for joining a fly-in community:

  • Insurance

  • Fire retardant equipment

  • Hangar keepers insurance

  • A manager for communal hangars

Why Do People Choose Fly-in Communities Versus Hanging A Hangar Close To Home?

Living in a fly-in community is a huge time-saver. To start, it eliminates the need to drive and park your car at an airport. Even if you choose to take an Uber or another form of transportation, running into road traffic isn’t a problem with a fly-in community.

Then, if you often travel for work, you know the struggle of commuting and dealing with an outside airport day in and day out. Living in a fly-in community leaves you in the comfort of your own home until you’re ready to take off once again.

What Are The Advantages Of Being An Aircraft Owner In An Aircraft Community?

On top of having a place to park your aircraft, living in a fly-in community has some extravagant perks as well. Some bonus advantages include:

  • A built-in golf course

  • Country club

  • Community medical professionals

  • Sporting clubhouses (tennis, racquetball, etc.)

  • Equestrian facilities

  • Swimming pools

  • Neighborhood parties, festivals, and celebrations

  • Other social engagements and gatherings

The bottom line? Fly-in communities offer luxurious suburban living often tucked within some of the most bustling cities around.

How Much Does It Cost To Live In A Fly-In Community?

As you might guess, living in any one of the world’s luxury fly-in communities doesn’t come cheap. Furthermore, the cost will fluctuate depending on the community’s location.

Homes will cost anywhere from $500,000 to millions. Remember, you also will still be responsible for the maintenance and operating costs of your aircraft. But if you can afford it, living the fly-in community life can be well worth the time and effort saved compared to making a trip to the airport every time you want to fly out.

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5 Most Popular Fly-in Communities

You may or may not be surprised by the locations of some of the most popular fly-in communities around the U.S. We’ll take you through the top 5 and pinpoint what makes them so desirable.

1. Spruce Creek

The Spruce Creek Airpark community near Daytona Beach, Florida, is by far the largest around. It has nearly 5,000 residents, 1,300 homes, and 700 hangars. All of which is accompanied by a 4,000-foot runway. Homes here range from condos around high $200,000s to mansions worth several million dollars. Of course, it also has a country club and several other social clubs.

2. Jumbolair

Jumbolair Aviation and Equestrian Estates, located in Ocala, Florida, has more than 550 acres and is home to the original Vanderbilt Estate. It has the longest runway at 7,550 feet and plenty of gorgeous homes lining the community. The estates here also offer a 9,000 square foot banquet hall ideal for corporate events or weddings. The entire estate recently sold for $9.5 million.

3. RWJ Airpark

RWJ Airpark, located in Beach City, Texas, just outside of Houston, is home to the largest airpark in the Lone Star State. It sits at 33 feet above sea level and has two runways. The first is a paved all-weather runway sitting at 5,111 feet long and the second is a grass runway that is 3,300 feet long. Plots of land and/or homes in this area are priced at around $200,000 to almost $1.5 million.

4. Poplar Grove

Poplar Grove is a fly-in community located in Poplar Grove, Illinois. Bel Air Estates is a community of homes that feeds into Poplar Grove and features single-family homes residing in the price range of $264,000 to $705,000. Poplar Grove has a more family-friendly atmosphere and is a more reasonable choice for aircraft owners with children.

5. Pecan Plantation

Another Texas-based fly-in community, Pecan Plantation, offers 3,100 homes and two runways. It also has two golf courses, a country club, tennis courts, a marina, and even an equestrian center, as just a few of its perks. Homes in this area are around $300,000 to nearly $1 million.

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