Nestled in bucolic “Happy Valley” Pennsylvania, the University Park Airport is the closest large commercial airfield to The Pennsylvania State University. The airfield operates regularly scheduled regional flights out of the commercial aviation terminal, but just to the east of that on the field is the General Aviation terminal which acts as the FBO for private aircraft. The location of the airfield smack dab in the middle of Pennsylvania makes it very appealing for pilots looking for a quick fuel stop, and the long runway and ILS landing system put this strip on the list for my top favorite airports in the United States to visit. Whether you’re just passing through or spending some time in Happy Valley this airport is a wonderful gateway to central Pennsylvania.
Located on the furthest tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown Municipal Airport is surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean and offers one of the more challenging experiences available for pilots of small airplanes. The location essentially in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean means high winds and frequently gusty conditions prevail most of the year, and unpredictable conditions on short final are not uncommon. Your reward for making the journey, however, is well worth the risk: instead of a three hour car ride from Providence, Massachussets to the town of Provincetown on Cape Cod, your travel time is only about 30 minutes each way. Especially during the summers, avoiding the madness that is Route 6A might be well worth the challenge and the expense.
Located just off the south coast of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard is a favorite vacation destination for many New Englanders as well as President Obama. The main airport servicing Martha’s Vineyard is KMVY, which is conveniently located smack dab in the center of the island. With beautiful scenery on the approach to the airport and charming fishing villages located within a short distance of the field, KMVY makes for a very attractive day trip or vacation destination.
There are two airports located in Shreveport, Louisiana. The more convenient one for general aviation pilots is the Downtown Airport (KDTW), but the FBO there doesn’t operate 24/7 and the tower closes at night. For those arriving late (as I was, arriving unannounced at 11 PM one night) or using larger aircraft Shreveport Regional Airport operates a tower and FBO that is happy to take you in no matter when you arrive.