The Historical past of Mattituck Airport

Positioned in the Town of Southold on Lengthy Island’s North Fork, Mattituck Air Foundation (21N) is the area’s only privately owned, general public-use airfield, occupying 18 acres and giving a solitary 2,200- by 60-foot asphalt runway-in this situation, 1/19. Methods to the to start with of the two magnetic headings are performed more than the Terrific Peconic Bay.

Founded in 1946 soon after Parker Wickham returned from his World War II obligation of protecting Military Air Corps airplanes at his Mojave Desert base, he was offered 16 acres of his father’s farm for an airfield soon after his return household, for the reason that, according to his father’s assessment, “You can find no cash in potatoes, anyhow.” Before the asphalt, the “runway” was practically nothing much more than a strip of moved grass.

Aside from its use by private pilots who were being equipped to land and base their plane in the vicinity of their North Fork houses, its principle, income-producing factor was its motor fix and overhaul facility, which was bought in 1984, repurchased by loved ones associates four several years afterwards, and sold once again in 1999 to Teledyne-Continental, which renamed it Teledyne-Mattituck Expert services on November 9 of that 12 months.

As a single of the northeast’s longest proven piston motor overhaul mend outlets, it operated as a subsidiary of Teledyne Systems, Inc., leasing the building from the Wickham household. It was subsequently obtained by China-primarily based AVIC Global, at which time it was renamed Mattituck Services, employing 70 at a time during its peak, or some 350 per annum, and was dependable for at the very least a dozen engines for each week, or a lot more than 500 for each yr.

Continental Motors stated its things to do as “engine overhauls constructed to manufacturing facility service tolerances manufacturing facility engine profits and set up experts important powerplant and airframe upkeep propeller upkeep and repair service your in-inventory resource for elements 50-hour, 100-hour, and yearly inspections inspection maintenance systems and gas system calibration and adjustments.”

For the 12 months ended on September 27, 2007, the single-strip Mattituck Airport averaged 33 actions for every day, or 12,200 per yr, and counted 32 one-engine based plane.

Soon after Parker Wickham handed in 2011, he ceded possession to his son, Jay, and his wife, Cyndi, who managed and operated the airfield for five years. But a decline in standard aviation thanks to its at any time-soaring charges, leaving only a handful of airplanes still based there, and the closing of the mend store in the summer months of 2012, still left him minimal option but to promote the airport 4 decades later, an intention he announced on June 3, 2016. Simply because of pricey repairs, its gasoline tanks experienced presently been presented to Albertson Marine, Inc., of Southold.

The Continental Motors’ store alone, shut immediately after four yrs of declining normal aviation business and its inability to stay worthwhile with two independent services, was built-in with its Fairhope, Alabama, plant.

“Extremely bluntly, I believe the two of us and Lycoming have carried out a fantastic occupation of pointing out the value of manufacturing facility selections and that has created a contribution across the board to the decline there,” in accordance to Rhett Ross, Continental Motors’ CEO. “It was not an quick determination, but that facility has been marginal for at least the fifty percent 10 years.”

All 20 remaining employees had been laid off.

Even though the City of Southold considered the order charge-prohibitive and its earnings potential nominal, “saviors” came in the kind of Paul Pawlowski and Steve Marsh, companions in the Hudson City Discounts Lender challenge on Key Highway in Mattituck. Advising present pilots to clear away their plane by September 30 of 2016, they intended to excavate the runway and demolish all buildings, with the exception of the carriage home, the vehicle barn, and the newest hangars, but normally retain the airfield as it had been.