Located just off the south coast of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard is a favorite vacation destination for many New Englanders as well as President Obama. The main airport servicing Martha’s Vineyard is KMVY, which is conveniently located smack dab in the center of the island. With beautiful scenery on the approach to the airport and charming fishing villages located within a short distance of the field, KMVY makes for a very attractive day trip or vacation destination.
Martha’s Vineyard is serviced by Cape Approach for both arrivals and departures. Low flying aircraft arriving from the west may be passed directly from Providence Approach depending on workload and the exact route. Arrivals from the north fly directly over Cape Cod before landing at Martha’s Vineyard, and the passage between Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard is narrow enough that an engine failure probably won’t result in a watery landing at normal altitudes.
The Martha’s Vineyard VOR (MVY 114.5) is located directly on the field. Flights arriving from the north may also find the Falmouth VOR helpful to use, located near the Coast Guard Air Station on Cape Cod.
For IFR pilots, Martha’s Vineyard offers only a single ILS approach to runway 24 with no marker beacons and limited approach lighting. GPS approaches are available to all runways, and two VOR approaches are available that allow for easy circling to every runway.
There are two runways at Martha’s Vineyard airport, 6/24 with 5,504 feet available and 33/15 with a skinny 3,328 available. The ILS is only available on runway 24. Taxiway Echo serves as a quick way to get from the ramp to the departure end of 15 without backtracking on the runway itself, but otherwise you’re going to need to turn around and come back.
The FBO is located on the right side of the commercial terminal. The airport is one of the few serviced regularly by Cape Air, which operates out of the commercial side of the terminal on the north east end of the apron. Parking for general aviation aircraft is extensive, and there’s a small grass area designated on the south west end of the airport for overflow parking if needed (which it will be during the height of the summer season).
When arriving, the tower may ask how long you plan to stay in order to best direct you to the appropriate parking space. When I arrived around noon the day after labor day a marshal in a golf cart was dispatched to assign me a parking space as well as provide transportation back to the terminal.
Once through the FBO, the commercial terminal is about 50 yards to the left and has a taxi stand with cabs waiting to take you into town. There’s also a bus that comes by and will shuttle people into town for $7 each.
FBO Facilities and Fees
The FBO at Martha’s Vineyard is a small office to the side of the commercial terminal. Access to and from the ramp is controlled through a gate, and all pilots should check-in with the FBO on landing.
For a small single engine airplane, there was no parking fee or landing fee for the day (even without the purchase of fuel)! Full service fuel is available on request, as well as tie-downs for single or multiple nights. The FBO offers a conference room as well as a flight planning area and some small restrooms, but compared to some of the larger airports it may seem a bit rustic.
Transportation to and from your parking spot on the ramp is complimentary, but you can just as easily and quickly walk if you so choose.
In the Area
The KMVY airport has a small restaurant right on the field, but unless you’re in a hurry you really should take the $25 taxi ride into Edgartown.
Downtown Edgartown offers some fantastic views of the water as well as some great seafood restaurants. The above picture was taken from The Seafood Shanty, which has a seating area on the roof (in the shade) that overlooks the bay. The streets are lined with typically quaint shops and restaurants as well as nifty old houses to look at.
Getting back into the airport is easy as pie. The FBO is just to the left of the commercial terminal, and access to the field is available on the other side of the building. After checking out with the front desk, simply walk out to your airplane and get going. Or, if you prefer, you can ask one of the golf carts to come by and give you a lift to your parking space.
Flight following is not available directly from the tower. Instead, you will either need to pick it up on the ground or in the air with Cape Approach. Nevertheless contact ground for taxi as usual (when the tower is operating) and head for your runway of choice. There are run-up pads available on the ends of runway 6/24, however doing the run-up in the non-movement area before taxi is still a good idea.