Historic Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Santa Catalina Amphibian Airport
US Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District History (1993)
Location: The airport is located just north of the city of Avalon in Hamilton Cove. Presently, the site is under the Hamilton Cove condominiums.
Site History: The site was chosen by the Santa Catalina Island Company as the terminus for the Wilmington-Catalina Limited Airways. The airport facilities were originally built in 1931 by the Santa Catalina Island Company. The amphibian airplanes would travel from the Wilmington Terminal in Los Angeles, to Avalon delivering passengers and supplies.

The facilities constructed at the airport included; a terminal building, a hangar (61.9 feet by 80 feet), a concrete ramp, an aircraft turn-table, a 1000 gallon capacity gasoline underground storage tank, a small shed for equipment storage, and two rock groins for protection.

The U.S. Navy leased the property from the Santa Catalina Island Company in late 1943 for use as an emergency landing site for relinquished the facility back to the Santa Catalina Island Company which continued to operate the Wilmington-Catalina Airways Limited at the site.

In the late 1980's the entire site was demolished for the construction of the Hamilton Cove condominiums. The only remaining object left from the airport is the cornice from the Terminal Building. This cornice is now a monument near the site of the former Terminal Builiding. There are no construction records available that indicate any contamination discovered during the building of the condominiums. The area that the airport map indicated a underground storage tank is now completely recontoured and no tank is suspected there anymore.
US Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District History (1999)
The U.S. Navy leased the 1.81 acre Santa Catalina Amphibian Airport in late 1943 from the Santa Catalina Island Company (SCICO). The acquistion date is based on correspondence from the Commander, Air Task Group, Southern Sector, Western Sea Frontier to The Commandant of the 11th Naval District. No formal real estate documents could be located, however the acreage was determined from a scaled site map.

The Catalina Amphibian Airport was built by SCICO in 1931 as a terminus for amphibian air operations from Wilmington, California. The airlines which operated the facility was the Wilmington-Catalina Airways Limited. The airport was closed when the U.S. military closed access to the Island for private citizens. The airport was used as an emergency base, under the
authority of the NAS, Terminal Island. The airport consisted of a hangar, terminal building, a concrete ramp, turn table, and a 1000 gallon gasoline storage tank. Additionally, two small rock groins were constructed to protect the concrete taxiway ramp.

The U.S. Navy relinquished the 1.81 acre property back to SCICO in early 1946. This date is based on the dates that the Navy abandoned it's presence on Catalina Island. After the Navy occupation of the airport the Wilmington-Catalina Airways took over operational responsibilities for the facility. No real estate documents could be located.

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Updated 8 February 2016