Calverton Executive Airpark

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Calverton Executive Airpark
Calverton Airfield NAN4-80.jpg
Calverton in 1979-80
Airport type Public-owned, Private-use
Owner Town of Riverhead
Location Calverton, New York
Elevation AMSL 75 ft / 23 m
Coordinates 40°54′54″N 072°47′31″W / 40.91500°N 72.79194°W / 40.91500; -72.79194
Direction Length Surface
ft m
14/32 10,000 3,048 Asphalt/Concrete
5/23 (closed) 7,000 2,133 Asphalt/Concrete
Main building
TWA Flight 800 reassembled in the building

Calverton Executive Airpark (IATA: CTO[1], FAA LID: 3C8, formerly CTO) (also known as Peconic River Airport) is a public-owned private-use airport located three miles (5 km) west of the central business district of the Calverton hamlet, in the Town of Riverhead,[3] Suffolk County, New York, United States. It is owned by the Town of Riverhead.[2]

It was formerly the Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant, Calverton which was owned by the United States Navy and used to assemble, test, refit and retrofit jets built by the Grumman Corporation on Long Island.

The airport covers an area of 2,921 acres (1,182 ha) which contains two asphalt and concrete runways: 14/32 measuring 10,000 by 200 feet (3,048 m × 61 m)[2] and 5/23 measuring 7,000 by 200 feet (2,134 m × 61 m).

The airport is lightly used, with most planes using the nearby Francis S. Gabreski Airport. Its last remaining air client Sky Dive Long Island departed in 2017 for Brookhaven Airport.[4]

Attempts to develop the project call the space Enterprise Park at Calverton (EPCAL).[5]


In 1996, the wreckage of TWA Flight 800, which had exploded, disintegrated and crashed about 20 miles (32 km) south of the airport, was reconstructed in a hangar.

In September 1998, the bulk of the developed land, 2,640 acres (1,070 ha), at the airport was donated to Riverhead. Another 2,935 acres (1,188 ha) was donated to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation for wildlife management.

In the 1998 transactions, East End Aircraft Long Island Corporation was given 10 acres (40,000 m2) on Highway 25 which it is developing into the Grumman Memorial Park and Aerospace Museum.

As of January 2006, the Navy still owns 358 acres (mostly areas requiring environment cleanup) at the site.[6] In January 2013, one of the Calverton airport's two runways is being used to store thousands of flood-damaged vehicles from Hurricane Sandy.[7]

Enterprise Park at Calverton (EPCAL) Development Efforts[edit]

Development for the central portion of the complex is still undecided as of March 2018. Various proposals have included building a 35-story artificial ski mountain, a racing track, a plant to build solar powered planes, building a solar farm and building a large shopping center.

In January 2008, the Riverhead Town Board with newly elected officers signed a deal to close and sell the airport for $155 million to Riverhead Resorts which planned a 35-story ski mountain in a $2.2 billion proposed project.[8] In 2010 Riverhead cancelled the contract after Resorts did not make a $3.9 million payment.[9]

On February 11, 2010 it was announced that the dormant railway track into the site would be reactivated for freight service. According to Railway Age magazine, Riverhead’s town board awarded a $3.49 million contract to Railroad Construction Co., of Paterson, New Jersey, to activate a rail spur off of the Long Island Rail Road's Main Line out to Greenport, for New York & Atlantic Railway freight trains. The project is being paid largely through federal stimulus funding.[10][11]

In 2017 a tentative deal was struck for the Calverton Aviation and Technology (a joint venture with Luminati Aerospace founded by Daniel Preston (25%) and Ghermezian family-owned shopping mall developer Triple Five Real Estate I, LLC (75%)) to build solar power aircraft at the site with Luminati initially saying it would employ 2,000 at the plant. Luminati had gotten a foothold on the space in 2015 when he took over the Sky Dive space. As the plans to build planes fell into financial difficulties the shopping mall developers were signed on to the deal.[12] The full details of the project were still being discussed in 2018. There is still an effort to turn the area into a race track and in February 2018 Sustainable Power Group filed suit saying it offered a higher bid for the property so it could become a solar farm.[13][14]

Ecology and endangered species[edit]

The EPCAL site contains the largest remaining grassland on Long Island.[15] The site provides documented breeding and/or foraging habitat for numerous grassland birds, including at least one New York State endangered species (i.e., short-eared owl[16][17][18][19]) and five New York State Species of Special Concern (i.e., common nighthawk, grasshopper sparrow, vesper sparrow, horned lark, and whip-poor-will).[18][19] In fact, these grasslands are the most productive breeding grounds for grasshopper sparrow (a NYS Species of Special Concern) in all of New York State.[18] The EPCAL site contains 10 kettle hole ponds which are documented breeding sites for the eastern tiger salamander, a New York State endangered species.[17][20] The site also contains five additional reptile and amphibian species which are identified as Species of Special Concern in New York State (i.e., marbled salamander, eastern spadefoot, spotted turtle, eastern box turtle, and eastern hognose snake).[20][21] A total of 24 amphibian and reptile species have been identified on or near the EPCAL property.[20][21]

As discussions over whether the airport could be developed the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced in February 2008 that endangered short-eared owls and northern harriers had been spotted at the airport which would prompt the DEC to make the ultimate decision the environmental impact of the development.[17]


  1. ^ a b Airport information for Calverton Executive Airpark (IATA:CTO, FAA:3C8) at Great Circle Mapper.
  2. ^ a b c FAA Airport Master Record for 3C8 (Form 5010 PDF), effective 2007-10-25
  3. ^ "2008 Zoning Map" (West). Town of Riverhead. Retrieved October 30, 2008.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant - EPA ID Number: NYD003995198 - January 2006
  7. ^ Nir, Sarah Maslin (January 12, 2013). "Dried Out and Title-Scrubbed, Flooded Cars Lure the Unwary". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-01-12. 
  8. ^ Riverhead officials approve ski mountain project - Newsday - January 3, 2008
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Paterson Announces Economic Recovery Funding For Long Island Rail Spur - Riverhead, NY". 2010-02-11. Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  11. ^ "Freight spur construction on Long Island moves forward". Railway Age. February 12, 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-27. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ The Nature Conservancy. Geospatial analysis of grasslands on Long Island.
  16. ^ Kilgannon, Corey (March 14, 2008). "A Party of Four at a Foraging Spot". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  17. ^ a b c Smith, Jennifer (February 6, 2008). "State: Owl species likely to delay LI development". Newsday. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  18. ^ a b c National Audubon Society's Avian Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) Survey Program
  19. ^ a b New York State Breeding Bird Atlas. Conducted and published by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
  20. ^ a b c New York State Amphibian and Reptile Atlas Project ("Herp Atlas"). Conducted and published by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
  21. ^ a b Eastern Hognose Snake Survey, US Fish and Wildlife Service and Rutgers University conducted by Jeremy Feinberg

External links[edit]