Saturday, April 09, 2022

Rows of private jets, 500,000 gallons of fuel, and 100 extra employees: Masters Week is like the 'Super Bowl' for Augusta Regional Airport (KAGS)

Please note, fees are effective April 3rd - April 11th.   Ramp fees are assessed per day, per aircraft.

When the best talent in golf descend upon Augusta National every year, it turns Augusta Regional into an international hub.

No week is busier for the quaint airport located about 13 miles from the world-famous golf course that hosts the Masters.

Augusta Regional only has two runways and six gates. It has two restaurants on site. It typically only serves two airlines to four U.S. cities — Delta to Atlanta, and American to Charlotte, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Washington D.C.

But when the Masters rolls around each April, Augusta Regional's operations swell.

"Cities [get] the Super Bowl each year," said Lauren Smith, the airport's assistant director of marketing and public relations. "This is like Super Bowl traffic for 10 days for us."

For the Masters, Augusta Regional expands its operations, with airlines adding direct flights from New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Miami and Austin.

Tim Weegar, the airport's director of operations, said they'll typically see about 1,500 to 1,600 "corporate" jets — i.e. private jets — land in Augusta for the Masters. For non-commercial flights, the airport measures by the number of jets coming in because there are rarely head-counts.

So how many people might pass through the airport over the course of the Masters?

"On average, about 30, 35,000 people," Weegar said.

Smith added: "On an average, we see 20-30,000 people a month, and we'll see that just this week alone on the commercial side."

The airport also hires "well over" 100 additional employees to handle the influx, Weegar said.

"Every aircraft has to be parked by a parking team and then another team will get the passengers off and get them through their ground transportation," Weegar said. "And then another team of employees will take care of the aircraft, whether it's fuel or if they need an [auxiliary power unit] start or any other services for the airplane. And then there's the catering people if you've ordered catering. So, each airplane could be touched multiple times before it's gone again."

Weegar also estimated the airport will go through over 500,000 gallons of fuel over the course of the week.

Weegar has become fond of calling the Masters a "sporting event of the world."

In 25 years at Augusta Regional, Weegar has seen a wide array of powerful people from across the globe come through the airport for the annual tournament: celebrities, CEOs, presidents and vice presidents, oil sheiks, and, of course, the players themselves.

Of all of the celebrities that come through Augusta Regional, meeting Arnold Palmer stands out to Weegar the most. Weegar said Palmer was sitting on the steps of his plane when Weegar approached and asked to shake his hand, to which Palmer happily agreed.

"Just a nice, nice guy," Weegar said.

Weegar said many of the players arrive via NetJets, a sort of private jet "timeshare" service that lists Dustin Johnson among its ambassadors. According to Elite Traveler, "entry-level" private jet service for NetJets' smallest plane starts at $6,500 per hour.

Over the course of the week, aircrafts that cost well into the millions will make their way onto the runway: Gulfstream G650s (starting around $50 million), Falcons, Boeing business jets.

The abundance of planes at this small airport leads to a slight logistical problem: finding a place to park them all.

Once Augusta Regional's main ramp fills up, the airport will close the shortest of their two runways and park the jets all along it. Sometimes they even have to find parking at neighboring airports.

With this comes another challenge: bringing all incoming and outgoing flights through the remaining runway.

"A single runway operational for rivals and departures takes a lot of planning and a lot of professional experience to pull it off," Weegar said, adding: "It's like a calculus test, I think."

It's an exhausting week, but each year, Augusta Regional meets the demand.

"Thousands of thousands of people come for seven, eight days, and we are here and we are ready to take it on and take it on successfully," Weegar said.


  1. Ramp fees charged for each day of parking at AGS per table in image below give an idea of the fabulous stimulus effect on the local airport:


    See also:

  2. Well now we know the real reason for inflation...They gotta pay for those jets somehow.

  3. ".....these private chartered flights produce greenhouse gases - mainly carbon dioxide (CO2) - from burning fuel. These contribute to global warming.

    Emissions per kilometre travelled are known to be significantly worse than any other form of transport.

    But this varies considerably depending on size, occupancy levels and efficiency. Private jets generally produce significantly more emissions per passenger than commercial flights.

    There are many different models of private jet, but the Cessna Citation XLS - consistently one of the most popular - burns 189 gallons (857 litres) of aviation fuel an hour on average.

    A two hours and 45 minutes requiring 2,356 litres of jet fuel.

    The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) says 2.52kg of carbon dioxide is emitted for every litre of aviation turbine fuel burned. Therefore this flight would produce 5.9 tonnes of CO2.

    However, BEIS recommends that to "capture the maximum climate impact" of flights, CO2 emissions figures should be multiplied by 1.9 to reflect the effect of non-CO2 emissions released by planes at high altitude, which, scientists say, increase the warming effect.

    Therefore, the total emissions for this flight would be 11.3 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, and with a capacity of nine, each passenger would be responsible for 1.2 tonnes on their journey."

    1. Don't worry, the US corn crop, alone absorbs over a billion tons of CO2 in a 4 month growing season.

    2. Flare-offs from oil and gas wells produce more CO2 than all global aviation and maritime activity together. Then there's methane from dairy farms...

    3. CO2 is the building block of life on this planet. Our atmosphere is around 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.93% Argon, 0.04% CO2and trace amounts of neon, helium, methane, krypton, ozone, hydrogen and water vapor. Our atmosphere is enormous, extending out 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles), although 99.99997% of our atmosphere is located below 62 miles (Karman line).

      This alone demonstrates the fraud of climate change, there is no such thing as a greenhouse gas, holding heat like a blanket in the sky. Even if we had 10 times the CO2 in the atmosphere than we have today, it would only make up .4% of the atmosphere and, even IF CO2 could retain heat when the heat source (sun) is removed, which CO2 can't because it would defy the laws of physics, it would remain insignificant. Climate change is a fraud.

    4. These jets are often owned by businesses with several traveling employees or for people who need to carry loads but can't or do not want to own a separate buses for that purpose. Forcing them to use commercial flights will just exacerbate the CO2 emissions issues by having to use less efficient modes of transportation. This is not about the environment, this is class warfare disguised as environmentalism.

    5. Regardless of your opinion regarding the current environmental doom scenario, the long term prediction accuracy track record is really poor. Don't give up your jet, car or cookstove based on the current argument.

      In the 1970's, an ice age was predicted. "Hey, let's spread copy machine toner on snow covered mountains to help the sun warm and save us" was one of the goofy ideas at the time.

      Some examples:

      The running doom predictions list, year by year:

      Don't fight each other - consider logically what the constant stream of erroneous predictions reveals and calm down the hypesters in your ongoing interactions!

  4. ah, 'Anonymous' egalitarian solution, US all should be traveling in private jets to promote crop growth in Iowa.

  5. You do not mess with my wife, my son or my jet. Any violation of that simple rule requires me to respond as I see fit.

  6. How about letting the air out of the tires of the private jets of our elite politicians! Start with John Kerry!

  7. LOL on the comments - politicians are great on preaching so-called climate change and get off oil yet still burn it themselves (isn't that right Biden, Pelosi and Kerry?). But I had fun with ADSBEXCHANGE over the weekend monitoring private jet traffic. Just FYI there's another airport with a 5500' runway just 20 miles up on I20 in South Carolina (Aiken or AIK) where others park their jets for this event. That would be my preference just to get away from the tarmac and FBO zoo.

  8. Sad to see the climate deniers and their lies. Look around you... Yeah, develop a ski area, build right next to the beach and see where you end up.