Tracking the VIP flights from Van Nuys to Tetorboro; Paramount Pictures near top

Several thousand flights over a four-year period from 2007 and 2011 - as compiled by the WSJ in a nifty database of private aircraft activity. The run from Van Nuys Airport to New Jersey's Teterboro Airport is especially popular among celebrities and corporate types because the facilities are so close to West L.A. and Manhattan. That helps explain the 189 flights by Paramount Pictures over a four-year span. Also near the top: Perini Corp., the engineering and construction company that's run by Ron Tutor, Red White & Blue Pictures, one of the companies owned by Hard Rock founder Peter Morton, IAC Interactive, the online retail conglomerate run by Barry Diller, and Guitar Center, the music retailer that's based in Westlake Village.

By far the largest number of flights involve leasing companies, as well as Net Jets, which offers fractional ownerships of private aircraft. At the top is Van Nuys-based Clay Lacy Aviation, one of the largest air charter services. It flew 254 times between Van Nuys and Teterboro over that four-year period. By the way, publicly held companies have been under the gun recently because (I hope you're sitting down for this) its executives are using corporate jets for their own private travel. From the Journal:

A Wall Street Journal review of FAA flight records found that dozens of jets operated by publicly traded corporations made 30% or more of their trips to or from resort destinations, sometimes more than 50%. Often, these were places where their top executives own homes. The review covered nearly every jet flight in the U.S. over the four-year period from 2007 to 2010.


"Personal use of corporate aircraft is still underreported," said Brink Dickerson, an attorney at Troutman Sanders LLP in Atlanta who advises public companies on the issue. He says people will come up to him after speeches on the topic to describe how they have been reporting personal travel as business travel. "They say, 'This is how we do it, is this OK?' " Mr. Dickerson believes it is appropriate for executives to take personal trips on company planes, but companies should be reporting such use rather than "disguising" it as business travel.

Van Nuys Airport is the busiest general aviation airport in the world. In April, there were 26,437 flights.

van nuys2.jpg

Britney Spears at Van Nuys

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
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