The Race Space

The Race Space

Scottsdale brokerage firm shares figures on hangar vacancies

By Leading Edge Real Estate LLC

The city of Scottsdale has shown no signs of deceleration in its business attraction and retention endeavors since last year at this time.

It’s no surprise the aviation real estate market in the Airpark has remained tight. The advantage of a business utilizing a private aircraft to achieve its goals is substantial.

A 2018 study of the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) 11,000-member companies reveals that one of the key drivers of business aircraft use is scheduling flexibility. Furthermore, the CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturer’s Association (GAMA) described the necessity for aircraft in conducting successful business, stating “General aviation aircraft are indispensable business productivity tools, allowing flexibility, connectivity and efficiency.”

When it comes to protecting and utilizing these multimillion-dollar assets, what offers a business more flexibility than its own private airplane hangar? These hangars, sometimes outfitted with a fuel farm, office space and private parking are a popular investment at the business-friendly airport. With expanded U.S. Customs Service for seamless international travel, many C-level executives agree, it doesn’t get much better than this, which is why many choose Scottsdale as home base for their aircraft.

While the majority of airport real estate around the country is leasehold, term limited ownership; the hangars in the Scottsdale Airpark are on private fee simple land, providing the rare opportunity to pass the aviation use property from one generation to the next. These Airpark properties also provide the utmost privacy and security for aircraft owners and passengers. Approved aircraft crossover from the Airport to Airpark via “through-the-fence” access. With the Arizona Department of Transportation calculating 353 aircraft based at Scottsdale (comprised of single engine, multiengine and jet aircraft, not to mention the 25 helicopters based here), it’s safe to say there’s strong competition for hangar properties in the Airpark. We estimate current Airpark hangar vacancy at just under 5%.

Adding complexity to the already tight hangar market, hobby automobile collectors often compete for aviation properties to use hangars as open “warehouse” space for uses such as classic and vintage automobile restoration and luxury automotive storage. This is not a new phenomenon in the Airpark, though it is becoming more prevalent.

Aviators and businesses with aviation real estate requirements should seek guidance from a local team with intimate knowledge of the aviation industry and of the Airpark itself. Working with a professional, discrete, and knowledgeable team of agents is a must. Agents with knowledge of Arizona aviation properties can help a prospective party navigate the intricacies of an aviation specific real estate transaction.

Over the next 10 years, we expect to see continued infrastructure improvements to the airport as well as the FBO facilities, and to the nearby arterial roads, including the Raintree expansion. We’ll see the warehouse properties on taxiway parcels be repurposed into hangars, which is ultimately the highest and best use of the land. Private and public entities must continue to work hand-in-hand to propel the Scottsdale Airport and Airpark forward into the future and remain competitive in today’s quickly evolving global landscape.


Leading Edge Real Estate LLC is a full-service brokerage firm based in Scottsdale, offering specialized experience in many areas, including aviation and airport property; commercial real estate; ranch and land sales; and investment property. It places a premium on customer service, drawing on more than 50 years of experience and out-of-the box thinking to ensure the best client experience in the business. Info: