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Alma mater airport

Helping your child choose a college

It’s a rite of passage—taking your son or daughter on the rounds of college tours as they make that important choice of where to spend your money and receive their degree.
After the checkride

Purdue University Airport in Indiana (top); Charlottesville Albemarle Airport in Virginia (bottom sidebar). Photos courtesy Purdue University Airport (top), Charlottesville Albemarle Airport (bottom sidebar).


After doing this three or four times (different kids, change of mind, change of direction) over the past years, my number one recommendation would be to draw a two-hour time circle around your home. Getting to your kid—and getting them home—in two hours or less will make at least the first year one heck of a lot easier for everyone. The airplane, of course, allows that two hours to be farther than driving. Even more advantageous for the pilot family is an airport at the campus. While not everyone’s child is U.S. Air Force Academy fit, wouldn’t it be so cool to fly into that airport? But many colleges and universities have or are near airports and the AOPA Airport Directory is your one-stop shop for finding out this information. Let’s take Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN), which is an easy drive to Montana State University, or Charlottesville Albemarle Airport (CHO), near the campus of the University of Virginia, or Purdue University Airport (LAF) on the university campus in West Lafayette, Indiana. Find a list of the airports closest to college football stadiums at

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Julie Walker

Julie Summers Walker

AOPA Senior Features Editor
AOPA Senior Features Editor Julie Summers Walker joined AOPA in 1998. She is a student pilot still working toward her solo.

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