Catalina Island’s Airport in the Sky will resume operations, what with the elevated landing strip set to be open to air traffic as of 3 p.m. on May 3. A 1947 DC-3, originally owned by Philip K. Wrigley, was designated to be used as the first aircraft to christen the updated runway, which was repaired as a training exercise by the U.S. Marines and Navy Sailors (Seabees).
Military personnel spent three months repairing the main runway, removing the asphalt and replacing it with concrete.
The runway replacement project was part of the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training, or IRT.
“It provided the military with valuable construction training while benefiting the community of Catalina by ensuring the Island’s only airport remains open to the public,” a statement issued by the Catalina Island Conservancy said.
The repaired airport will again be open for commuter and service flights. Mail, medical supplies, first responders, travelers, residents and businesses have used the airport to access Avalon and the rest of the Catalina Island since 1946. Catalina Island Conservancy operates the airport (and has done so since 1972).