Witham Field

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Coordinates: 27°10′54.10″N 080°13′15.90″W / 27.1816944°N 80.2210833°W / 27.1816944; -80.2210833

Witham Field
IATA: SUAICAO: KSUAFAA LID: SUA
Summary
Airport type Public use
Owner Martin County Board of Commissioners
Operator Michael C. Moon
Serves Stuart, Florida
Location Martin County, Florida
Elevation AMSL 18 ft / 6 m
Website Martin County Airport
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
7/25 4,652 1,418 Asphalt
12/30 5,826 1,776 Asphalt
16/34 5,000 1,524 Asphalt
Statistics (1999)
Aircraft operations 120,556
Based aircraft 235
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]

Witham Field (IATA: SUAICAO: KSUAFAA LID: SUA) is a public-use airport located 1 mile (1.6 km) southeast of the central business district of the city of Stuart in Martin County, Florida, United States. The airport is publicly owned.[1]

History[edit]

With the onset of World War II, patriotic private landowners offered their property to Martin County to build an airport. Martin County's airport was originally known as MacArthur Field, however, it was later named Witham Field in honor of Paul "Homer" Witham, who was the first Naval Aviator from the City of Stuart to die in World War II.

In October 1942, Martin County leased the 900-acre (3.6 km2) airport to the U.S. Government for use as a military training field. The U.S. Navy assumed operation of the airport in exchange for an $800,000 payment to the County. The Navy then committed $10 million to construct and operate a modern naval air station. During the war years, Naval Auxiliary Air Station Witham Field operated as an auxiliary field to Naval Air Station Vero Beach, providing an additional training and proficiency facility for Naval Aviators from the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps operating carrier-based and land-based fighter and light bomber aircraft.[2]

On July 1, 1947, NAAS Witham Field was decommissioned and the property returned to Martin County. During the 1950s and 1960s, Grumman Aircraft Corporation, now known as Northrop Grumman Space and Mission Systems Corporation, leased much of the airport property, naming it "Plant 77" and conducting flight-testing and manufacturing of parts and subassemblies for various aircraft such as the U.S. Army's OV-1 Mohawk and various U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard aircraft.

In 1994, Northrop Grumman downsized their Witham Field operation and much of the property was again returned to Martin County, including responsibility for the airport's air traffic control tower. The county, in turn, hired an Airport Director to manage the property. Martin County now operates the 726-acre (2.94 km2) airport, and although there is no scheduled commercial airline service at the airport, the facility does continue to maintain an operational air traffic control tower and is home to two fixed base operators (FBO) and more than 200 private and business aircraft.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b FAA Airport Master Record for SUA (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2007-12-20
  2. ^ "Floridas World War II Memorial: NAAS Witham". Florida Department of State. Retrieved 2009-05-16. [dead link]
  3. ^ "About Witham field". Martin County Florida. Retrieved 2009-05-16. 

External links[edit]