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About Witham Field

History

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 later named Witham Field in honor of Homer Witham who was the first Stuart aviator to die in World War II.

In October of 1942 Martin County leased the 900-acre Airport to the federal government for use as a military training field. The 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 Airport. For years US Navy fighters and light bombers practiced flying into and out of the Airport.

On July 1, 1947 the property was returned to Martin County. During the 1950ís and 1960ís Northrop Grumman leased the property, conducted flight-testing and began to manufacture various aircraft for the US Navy.

In 1994, the property was again returned to Martin County who in turn hired an Airport Director to manage the property. Martin County now operates the 726-acre Airport. Although there is no commercial service at the Airport, it is home to more than 200 private and business aircraft.

Noise

Witham Field Airport recently completed a Federal Aviation Administration Part 150 Noise Study (Study).  One outcome of the Study was Voluntary Noise Abatement Procedures and a Nighttime Curfew which all pilots using the field are encouraged to follow. Also included in the Part 150 Study was the recommendation to purchase and insulate homes in the most noise impacted areas surrounding the airport. The program is know as the Home Acquisition Program (HAP) and is currently funded primarily by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) grants.

The HAP provides for the purchase and relocation of residences in noise impacted areas with the initial effort focused upon those within the 65-70 DNL contours in the 2002 Noise Exposure Maps that were included in the Part 150 Study. The HAP Implementation Plan is a five (5) Phase Program and includes land acquisition and relocation for properties located in Phases 1 & 2 and sound insulation for properties located in Phases 3 & 4.  Mitigation options for the Phase 5 area will be considered following the completion of a future revised noise exposure map for the airport, as required by the FAA. Work is currently being completed in Phase 1 of the HAP Implementation Plan. 

Economic Impact

Martin County realizes significant annual economic benefits from aviation.
View Witham Field Economic Impact

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