It has never been a particular goal of mine to fly in a private airplane. That’s really good news for me, because it’s generally bad form to wish for something unattainable. I’m content to have ORD within an hour and fifteen minutes from my home and MKE less than an hour. These are pretty good options for accessibility, and a client of mine once remarked how valuable it was to have O’Hare so close to the lake. He’d often run board meetings from his lakefront home, and sending a private driver to and from the lake to pick up his business guests was an incredibly convenient and high touch addition to his weekends on the water.
Increasingly, my clients are flying private. I had a call last week from a potential buyer who ended the conversation by asking me what airport he would fly into on board a Bombardier model of some variety. Uncertain as to the size of the airplane, I suggested Burlington would be his likely option, as I have lakefront clients who utilize that airport for their visits. He accepted my answer, but it left me wondering what other options exist, and so I chatted with my friends at Meisner Aircraft to get the scoop on the local airport scene.
I was glad to learn that Burlington (KBUU) is indeed the most commonly used airport for the Lake Geneva set. Located just 9.7 miles from downtown Lake Geneva, the convenience of this airport cannot be overstated. The runway is 4300 feet (with RNAV approaches) and can accommodate aircraft up to a G-550 size. Winter arrivals are dependent on runway conditions, so best to plan ahead if you’re visiting for Christmas. Fuel is self service.
The East Troy Municipal Airport (57C) is a bit further away at 16 miles from downtown Lake Geneva, but it’s a straight shot up Highway 120 so the travel time is not much different than the 15 minute jaunt to Burlington. This runway is 3900 feet (also with RNAV approaches) and can accommodate mid-cabin sized aircraft like a Citation XLS. As with Burlington, winter arrivals are dependent on runway conditions.
The last two local airports are a bit further away, both around 30 minutes from the lake, depending upon which side of the lake you’re heading. Janesville (west of the lake) hosts the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport (KJVL), with its 7300′ runway (ILS/RNAV approaches). This airport has good runway conditions all year around and can accommodate up to Boeing BBJ size aircraft. Fuel here is full service, which sounds nicer than self service. If you’re heading to the east end of the lake, the Kenosha Regional Airport (KENW) will be your closer option. That airport has a 6600′ runway with ILS/RNAV approaches and solid runway conditions in all seasons. With its size and full service fuel, it can also host Boeing BBJ size aircraft.
There’s your definitive Lake Geneva airport rundown, courtesy some intel from the fine folks at Meisner Aircraft. Like most expensive things in the world right now, I think jet inventory is running quite low, so if you’re in the market for a jet you should probably start looking now. As for me, I had a “slight” bout with claustrophobia on a particularly cramped and hot 737 last summer, so it’ll only be wide body planes for me for the foreseeable future…
Photo courtesy Jake Schnake, Blue Chair Stories