Bermuda Dunes Airport Profile
Revised January 2016
The Bermuda Dunes Airport is a privately owned “Public Use General Aviation, Utility Category Airport.” It is FAA approved and operates under State of California and County of Riverside permits. The airport receives no agency funding of any kind and operates without financial burden or obligation to the surrounding municipalities and general public. Operation cost of the airport is borne by the owners and users of the facility.
Facilities include a 5,000×70 foot lighted runway and taxiway, one 15,000 square foot community hangar and maintenance shop, one 13,500 square foot community hangar, lobby, pilot’s lounge, and office complex. There is also approximately 500,000 square feet of aircraft ramp and parking space and a 44,000 square foot T-hangar complex, which will accommodate 43 aircraft.
In Q4 of 2015, the airport underwent various, substantial changes with regards to staffing and facilities. The airport has since introduced new management, facilitated employment opportunities for those new to aviation, introduced a new maintenance operation and is currently engaged in a remodeling process for both the lobby and the adjacent 15,000 square foot hangar. A repaving project covering the runway and partial portions of the taxiway and West parking ramp was completed in August 2015. Resurfacing and repainting of the adjacent hangar will be completed in January of 2016. In total, the airport has parking accommodations for approximately 250 aircraft. The space for seven additional hangar buildings has been reserved, which will accommodate an additional 44 aircraft.
Bermuda Dunes Airport is one of the very few successful privately owned, public use airport operations in Southern California. The airport accommodates between ten and twenty percent of the “General Aviation Traffic” in the Coachella Valley. “General Aviation Traffic” includes: Business, Corporate, Charter, Aero Medical, Flight Instruction, Aircraft Rental, Scenic, Aircraft Sales and Maintenance, Private and Recreational operations.
There are approximately 11,500 operational activities (landings and takeoffs) per year which result in some 46,000 passenger activities. There are approximately 100 aircraft based at the airport with most of the ownership by private individuals complemented by some business and corporate operators. The types of aircraft range from small, single engine piston to multi-engine corporate jets. The size of the airport (110 acres) and the FAA required dimensional standards prohibit the operation of large transport category aircraft (large airliners). There is also a residential airpark with nineteen home sites. The airpark concept includes a home with an attached hangar that provides access to the airport taxiway and all facilities.
In addition to the airpark, there is an adjacent Industrial Park accommodating more than sixty businesses with designated lots having airport access for their corporate or private aircraft. Many of these businesses utilize airport services.
About thirty percent of the flight activities are Charter, Corporate, or Fractional Ownership flights. The four largest—NetJets, Flexjet, Flight Options, and Jet Suite—make extensive use of the airport. About thirty percent of the flight activities are private operators that live in the area and the aircraft rental service and flight school which operate four aircraft and have several flights daily. The airport location, with its close proximity to unpopulated area, result in the airport being an excellent training base.
The California Highway Patrol and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, including attorneys and individuals with county-related jobs, operate occasional flights out of the airport, as various law enforcement offices are located within five miles from the airport in the surrounding cities.
The airport receives occasional State Department Dignitary Protection Travel traffic, providing government officials and their protection services—officials being as high ranking as former presidents—a point to enter and exit the Coachella Valley.
Bermuda Dunes is the designated airport for medevac flights with designations for both JFK and Eisenhower hospitals. These flights are authorized to operate on a twenty-four hour per day basis. Many of these flights come from the eastern and southern part of the state where hospital facilities are not available.
Bermuda Dunes Airport is a designated emergency facility of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG), which is the organization that administers emergency services for disaster control for the Coachella Valley. In this capacity, the airport provides an operation base for evacuation, transportation services of emergency personnel, and other related emergency aviation activities and communications.
The airport also provides many additional client services including car rentals and catering. Service is also provided for photo and motion picture site locations for commercial and entertainment production companies. There is an on-site restaurant and tennis club.
The airport provides land space within its secured boundaries for the local water company, which operates 2 one million gallon water storage tanks and a pumping station.
The runway and ramp facilities are open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The terminal facilities operate from 0600 (6:00 AM) to 2000 (8:00 PM) local time seven days a week (0600-1930 from June 1 to September 3). Bermuda Dunes is a non-towered airport with a UNICOM radio facility that provides pilots with advisory information as to the wind conditions, runway in use and air traffic. There is a published “Visual Flight Rule” (VFR) traffic pattern and noise abatement procedure that enhances safety and minimizes noise and impact that flight operations may have on the surrounding communities. Included is a curfew for turbine operations (jets) between the hours of 2300 (11:00 PM) and 0600 (6:00 AM) local time.
The Bermuda Dunes Airport is also actively involved in the budding aviation program at the local Shadow Hills High School Aviation Academy, which aspired to give students the tools, education, and experience for a career in aviation.
The airport and its tenant operations provide employment for approximately thirty people.
The centralized location of the Bermuda Dunes Airport to all of the desert cities and, in particular, to the newer hotel, country club and residential developments is very desirable to the general aviation traveler, as well as the high profile, high income resident or visitor. In addition, being in close proximity to the Empire Polo Grounds—host location for the annual Coachella Valley and Stagecoach Music Festivals—the airport provides a centralized, convenient destination for tourist traffic in the Coachella Valley. The trained staff provides a level of service that satisfies the needs of all levels of airport clientele.
According to Skyways Publications, studies of general aviation traffic and airport statistical information, indicates that for each landing at the Bermuda Dunes Airport there are 3 persons on board, on average. Further, it is estimated that, considering our level of clientele, each person spends approximately $200.00 per day during a three day stay. Estimating that the airport has approximately 11,000 activities per year, the foregoing formula results in the airport funneling about $6,600,000.00 dollars annually into the economy of the surrounding communities.