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Who Owns Airports?

Have you ever wondered who owns the airport nearest to you?

Airports are essential infrastructure for any region, as they serve as a gateway for both domestic and international travel. However, do you know who is responsible for the ownership and management of airports? In this article, we will explore who owns airports and how they are managed.

Airports are typically owned by either the government or private entities. In the United States, most airports are owned by local or state governments. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), there are around 19,299 airports in the US, and only a small percentage of them are privately owned. In fact, only about 5% of airports in the US are privately owned, with the vast majority being publicly owned.

Publicly-owned airports are typically operated by airport authorities or commissions. These entities are responsible for managing the airport, including its infrastructure, operations, and finances. Airport authorities are typically created by local or state governments to manage the airports in their jurisdiction. For example, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey manages several airports, including John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport. In addition to local or state governments, airports can also be owned by federal agencies such as the FAA or the Department of Defense. These agencies are responsible for the ownership and management of airports that serve a specific purpose, such as military bases or air traffic control centers. On the other hand, private airports are owned and operated by private entities such as corporations or individuals. These airports are typically smaller in size and serve specific purposes such as corporate or private air travel. Some examples of private airports in the US include the Van Nuys Airport in California and the Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.

Regardless of whether they are publicly or privately owned, airports must adhere to strict regulations and guidelines set by the FAA. These regulations cover everything from airport design and construction to airport security and air traffic control.

In conclusion, airports near you are most likely owned by local or state governments and are operated by airport authorities or commissions. Private airports do exist but are less common and typically serve a specific purpose. So, the next time you travel, remember that there are many individuals and entities working behind the scenes to ensure that your journey is safe and smooth.


  • Federal Aviation Administration. (n.d.). Airports. Retrieved from

  • Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. (2016, October 17). Who owns your airport? Retrieved from

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