Van Nuys Airport

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Van Nuys Airport
VNY Airport logo.svg
Van Nuys Airport by D Ramey Logan.jpg
2015 photo
Airport typePublic
OperatorLos Angeles World Airports
ServesLos Angeles, California
Elevation AMSL802 ft / 244.4 m
Coordinates34°12′35″N 118°29′24″W / 34.20972°N 118.49000°W / 34.20972; -118.49000Coordinates: 34°12′35″N 118°29′24″W / 34.20972°N 118.49000°W / 34.20972; -118.49000
VNY is located in California
VNY is located in the United States
VNY (the United States)
Direction Length Surface
ft m
16R/34L 8,001 2,439 Asphalt
16L/34R 4,013 1,223 Asphalt
For the United States Air Force use of the airport (1942–1990), see Van Nuys Air National Guard Base

Van Nuys Airport (IATA: VNY, ICAO: KVNY, FAA LID: VNY) is a public airport in the Van Nuys neighborhood of the City of Los Angeles. No major airlines fly into this airport, which is owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports.

Van Nuys is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world. With two parallel runways, it averages over 230,000 takeoffs and landings annually.[1]

The airport is adjacent to the Van Nuys FlyAway Bus service, which runs nonstop buses to Los Angeles International Airport for travelers who park their cars at Van Nuys.

Many news, medical transport, and tour helicopters from the Los Angeles area are based at Van Nuys Airport. The Los Angeles City Fire Department operates its Air Operations Unit here. The City of Los Angeles also has its maintenance hub at the airport, used for staging and maintaining LAPD and LADWP helicopters.


Before World War II the Metropolitan Airport was used by Timm Aircraft Corporation, which built military trainer planes and cargo gliders.

The airport was purchased in 1942 by 4th Air Force and operated as the Van Nuys Army Air Field. The 428th Fighter Squadron with Lockheed P-38 Lightning was based at the airport in 1943. In 1944 the 441st Army Air Forces Base Unit started training P-38 at the base. The air base also used the Glendale Grand Central Air Terminal and the Oxnard Flight Strip. At the end of the war, the airport was returned to civilian use.[2]


Runway 16R, Van Nuys
Viewed from the rail line to the north

Van Nuys Airport covers 725 acres (293 ha) and has two runways:

  • 16R/34L: 8,001 ft × 150 ft (2,439 m × 46 m), asphalt
  • 16L/34R: 4,013 ft × 75 ft (1,223 m × 23 m), asphalt


  • On the night of March 26, 2000, a KTTV news helicopter, "Sky Fox 2", a secondary helicopter that was previously owned by KTLA, crashed at Van Nuys airport after experiencing problems while covering the Academy Awards.
  • A Cessna 525 Citation CJ1 twin-engine jet departing for Long Beach Airport crashed 0.5 miles (1 km) north of the airport on January 12, 2007, killing two people on board. One was reported to be the owner of the company which operated the aircraft.[3]
  • On November 25, 2008, a Cessna 310 carrying two people experienced landing gear problems. After burning off fuel, it was able to land on the runway without incident, although its front gear collapsed upon landing.[4]
  • On January 9, 2015, a Lancair aircraft crashed after takeoff just south of the airport at the intersection of Vanowen Street and Hayvenhurst Avenue. The pilot, an experienced flight instructor and Jet Propulsion Laboratory robotics engineer, was killed.[5][6]
  • On September 11, 2020 a small plane crashed into a parking lot on Hayvenhurst Avenue after takeoff, killing both the pilot and passenger.[7]

General aviation[edit]


Airport businesses:

  • HeliNet
  • Mather Aviation
  • Thorton Aircraft Company

Filming location[edit]

Van Nuys Airport has been the location of many film, television, and music video shoots.


  • Parts of the climatic scene of the film Casablanca (1942) were filmed at Van Nuys Airport, at the time known as Metropolitan Airport.[8]
  • The airport was used for landing the 747 and was referred to as Frederick Field in the film Executive Decision (1996).
  • The dramatic ending of the film noir Armored Car Robbery (1950) takes place at what was then Los Angeles Metropolitan Airport. Antagonist William Talman and his burlesque queen girlfriend Adele Jergens are attempting to escape by chartered airplane, and are cornered by Detective Charles McGraw. Talman runs, and is killed on the runway by a landing airplane.
  • In One Six Right (2005), a film documenting the history of Van Nuys Airport, was released. It was named after the most favored runway at the airport.
  • A major part of the science fiction motion picture Silent Running (1972) was filmed at the Van Nuys Airport in March 1971. The Domes from the spacecraft that contained the last surviving forests were filmed there. The forest environments were originally intended to be filmed in the Mitchell Park Domes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but the production budget forced the sequences to be shot in a newly completed aircraft hangar in Van Nuys.


  • Many television shows have filmed at the airport, including an episode of the TV show Alias, and several episodes of Season 5 of 24.
  • The 1980s action-espionage series Airwolf used the Van Nuys Airport hangars regularly as the site of "Santini Air", the charter air service company owned and operated by Ernest Borgnine's character (Dominic Santini) in the series.
  • In the last episode of Season 1 of the HBO series Entourage, the final scene takes place at Van Nuys Airport, where Vincent Chase and company take off for New York City. It was also used in the fourth season when Kanye West offers the group a plane ride on a Marquis Jet to Cannes. In Season 5 episode 7, Chase and Ari Gold run into each other in a hangar as each are about to depart on separate flights to Geneva, Switzerland and Hawaii, respectively. The last episode of season 6, episode 12, is used as a location where Chase and his crew run into Matt Damon on the way to Italy for a film shoot.

Music video[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  1. ^ "VNY News and Facts". Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  2. ^ Van Nuys Air National Guard Base, (Van Nuys Army Air Field, Van Nuys Municipal Airport)
  3. ^ "Two Killed In Van Nuys Jet Crash". KNBC. 2007-01-12. Archived from the original on 2007-01-15. Retrieved 2007-01-12.
  4. ^ "Plane Slides to Stop on Runway". NBC Los Angeles. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
  5. ^ "One dead as small plane crashes in street near Van Nuys Airport". Los Angeles Times. 2015-01-09. Retrieved 2015-01-09.
  6. ^ Ryan, Harriet (2014-01-10). "JPL scientist killed in Van Nuys plane crash aided 'extreme' exploration". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2015-01-11.
  7. ^ "Small Plane Crashes Near Van Nuys Airport, Killing 2 People".
  8. ^ McGarry, T. W. (January 19, 1986). "'Casablanca' Filmed Elsewhere : At Burbank Airport, a Myth Is Just a Myth". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 8, 2019.

External links[edit]