“I’ve flown into an airport, now how do I get around on the ground?” Well, there are many options. Here are some that come to mind:
Airport courtesy cars or airport crew cars are meant to be used for a short period of time, normally 2-3 hours. They are meant to be used for things like grabbing a quick bit to eat, picking up or dropping off something or somebody, or checking out a nearby store or museum quickly.
A pilot by the name of Glenn Brasch has compiled some of this information for us in the form of an app titled, appropriately so, “Airport Courtesy Cars.” It is available for free for both Apple and Android products in the iTunes or Google Play stores respectively.
The AOPA Airports resource can also help you determine if they have one or not. If they have one, it should appear under the “services at this airport” section of each individual airport listing as shown below:
Figure 1. Sample “courtesy car” listing on AOPA Airports.
However, it is always a good idea to call the airport or FBO ahead of time to double check that they still have it and note that these are always “first come, first served” so, just because they have one available, does not mean it will be available right at the time you need it or expect it.
This is always a great option. You can have a vehicle when you need it, for as long as you need it.
AOPA offers rental car discounts to its members and, in fact, you can even use our website to compare and book your next rental car.
Every town seems to have at least one taxi or limo provider (even if it’s just one guy driving an old cop car). The airport/FBO can provide you with that information or a quick Google search may too.
Some city’s public transportation may reach their airport. Again, the airport manager or FBO may be best equipped to help you with this option.
It seems like more and more cities are catching on the “biking trend.” Some are investing in biking trails, some are working with bike rental providers (such as B-cycle to install biking stations, and others have courtesy bikes in addition to courtesy cars. I personally love this.
And, just like you may carry your own chair, table, tent, cooler, or grill in the aircraft, why not bring your own bike? Some aircraft make it easier to carry them than others. The canopy-type aircraft for example, such as Grummans, seem to make it easier because you have a bigger opening to get it through. If only two of you are traveling, you may also consider taking out the back seats. They occupy unnecessary space and add extra weight.
Figure 1. Bicycle in the back of a Grumman Cheetah.
Source: Yasmina Platt.
Some bikes are easier to carry than others, too. You may consider getting folding bikes for flying trips. A google search will show you several options. And some of the aviation suppliers also sell these.
Fishing at your destination? Floating down a river? Or maybe rafting? How about just simply taking a relaxing paddle around a lake? An inflatable canoe or kayak may be a good option for you to bring with you in the aircraft. My husband and I have two of them. They have proven handy for more reasons than just bringing them flying with us. They also occupy less space in the garage or closet. J
AOPA’s Pilot Gear Store
And, don’t forget that AOPA’s Pilot Gear store has some great gear options for many occasions: rainy days, cold days, beach days, hiking, picnicking, golfing, etc.
Oh, flying is so fun! and it also allows us to reach and enjoy some of our other hobbies, too.