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Van Nuys Airport - Commercial Service

Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:23 pm

There is a Facebook group that celebrates the history of the San Fernando Valley in the greater LA area. One recent post in particular discussed Van Nuys airport (VNY) and the opening of Sherman Way underpass in 1953. Within this post is photograph of an American Airliners prop liner sitting atop of the pass.

I was always under the impression that VNY was always a general aviation airport and did not have any commercial service. The basic research I did could not confirm that VNY had ever had commercial ops either.

Can anyone familiar with the history of Los Angeles airports chime in? Myself and several respondents think the photo may actually be of LAX's Sepulveda under crossing. (I can't figure out how to post the photo here).


Edited to include the link to the FB page:

Last edited by zchannel on Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ZChannel: Member FDIC
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Re: Van Nuys Airport - Commercial Service

Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:27 pm

Do you have a link to the Facebook group?
Hughes Airwest - Top Banana In The West
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Re: Van Nuys Airport - Commercial Service

Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:58 pm

It's the LAX underpass I believe.
The only service VNY every had was Flying tigers freight airlines back during its early days before everything shifted to either BUR or LAX.

my post are my opinion only and not those of southwest airlines and or airtran airlines.
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Re: Van Nuys Airport - Commercial Service

Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:14 pm

Most people today don't realize it, but almost all airline training and check rides were performed in actual airplanes until the late 1980s, not in the very rudimentary simulators of the day. I know Ontario and Mojave were used in the LA basin for pilot training, and I'm guessing this AA DC-6 at VNY is there for this exact reason.

Russ Farris
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Re: Van Nuys

Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:22 pm

Van Nuys has appeared in the OAG several times-- no idea when its most recent appearance was. Never any big airlines like AA, of course.

It's a safe bet the pic is LAX. If it were Van Nuys, would we be looking east or west? Suspect if you go to Sherman Way and look you can rule out both possibilities.
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Re: Van Nuys Airport - Commercial Service

Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:51 pm

I believe all the Van Nuys service in the past several decades has been limited to occasional service from bottom-tier commuters using light <10 seat props. The last I see is from Skynet in 1994, a curious operation which served a bunch of general aviation airports in the LA basin briefly with peculiar multi-hop routings.

I don't have any record of anyone as notable as Golden West, Imperial, Golden Gate, Swift, Wings West, Inland Empire, WestAir, etc. flying there, nor anything as substantial as multiple flights to SAN, SFO, LAS, etc.
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Re: Van Nuys Airport - Commercial Service

Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:15 pm

It's so close to BUR, I wouldn't think VNY would need to exist for scheduled airline ops. Clay Lacy's charter fleet, though, was based at VNY IIRC.

I was going to chime in about Oxnard (OXR) having had scheduled airline service, but in looking at a map now, it's farther from VNY than I realized and therefore pretty much irrelevant to this discussion.
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