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Catalina Airport

Catalina Airport
Douglas DC-3 on take-off
Airport information
Airport typePublic
OwnerCatalina Island Conservancy
ServesCatalina Island
LocationAvalon, California
Elevation488 m (1602 ft)
Aircraft operations23000
Based aircraft10

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Catalina Airport is a privately-owned airport located six miles (10 km) northwest of the central business district of Avalon, California in the middle of Catalina Island. The airport is open to the public and allows general aviation aircraft to land there. The only requirement is that inbound pilots state their intention to land and that they pay a $25.00 (US) landing fee. The airport is primarily used for general aviation. The airport is also used for airfreight from the mainland. Supplies for the island are delivered via Douglas DC-3 aircraft daily. There are no scheduled passenger flights to or from the airport. It is also known as the Airport in the Sky due to the fact it lies near the island's highest point at an elevation of 1602 ft (488.3 m) All roads to the airport from the island's population centers climb steeply upward.

Although most U.S. airports use the same three-letter location identifier for the FAA and IATA, Catalina Airport is assigned AVX by the FAA and CIB by the IATA. The airport's ICAO identifier is KAVX.There is a restaurant at the airport, the DC-3 Gifts and Grill (, and for private pilots in the Los Angeles area, the airport is one local choice for a $100 hamburger (aviation slang for a private general aviation flight for the sole purpose of dining at a non-local airport). Buffalo burgers are the house specialty. The restaurant and airport is also a stop on some of the tours of the interior of Catalina Island from Avalon.

The airport originally opened as "Buffalo Springs Airport" in the late 1930s and was made by leveling off the top of a hill. Scheduled passenger service was briefly provided by United Airlines in DC-3s; long-disused refueling equipment is located in the pavement in front of the terminal building; no fuel currently available. The Wrigley family - who owned Santa Catalina Island for decades - used to keep their DC-3 in the large hangar at the airport.

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