SANTA ANA – In this Caltrans News Flash, see how the Caltrans Division of Aeronautics proactively worked with the Department of Defense and the Catalina Island Conservancy to renovate the Catalina Island Airport in the Sky, which serves as a major artery between the island and the mainland.
The California Department of Transportation's (Caltrans) Aeronautics Division issues a public use permit for the airport and annually inspects the Airport in the Sky's runway. The inspection of the 3,000-foot-long runway which was in a very decrepit state, sparked the idea to work with the Navy Seabees in restoring this historical runway.
Jeff Brown, Chief of Division of Aeronautics and Patrick Miles, Aviation Safety Officer II, utilized their military background and reached out to the Navy Seabees. Two and a half years later a total of nearly 200 Marines and Seabees were deployed to Catalina Island over a three-month period to replace the main runway's asphalt with concrete as training for future missions.
In May, the Airport in the Sky re-opened its newly-repaired runway, restoring a vital link between the island and the mainland.