“First opened in 1924 as a Curtis Wright Training Center, Katama is a bucket list destination for pilots from around the world. Katama’s three grass runways are long enough for a DC-3 and smooth enough for a Cirrus,” said New Hampshire-Massachusetts Liaison John Meade.
1B2 is a town-owned, public use airfield. It was saved from commercial development by a partnership between The Nature Conservancy and the Town of Edgartown, Massachusetts.
“Because of this, Katama will forever be a recreational airfield,” Meade said.
Over the last 30 years, the Katama Airfield Trust has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to preserve and maintain the airfield.
“Trust members, along with local pilots, put in countless volunteer hours every year,” Meade said.
Through these volunteer efforts, more than $1.5 million has been raised and more than $3 million worth of additional land has been placed into conservancy, according to RAF officials.
The RAF previously contributed $9,800 of in-kind engineering services to help replace a dilapidated World War II hangar at the airfield.
The hangar will serve as a meeting place for local groups to engage in aviation projects year-round. The hangar and pilot shelter are near completion, but recent price escalations left a budget shortfall. The new RAF grant should enable the project to be completed by June 2022, RAF officials said, noting the pilot shelter will be a place for “pilots and passengers to gather, picnic, and enjoy direct access to the Atlantic Ocean.”