Floyd Bennett Field

Quick Facts

Floyd Bennett Field

New York

(718) 338-3799

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Floyd Bennett Field -- part of Gateway National Recreation Area -- was opened as New York City's first municipal airport on May 23, 1931. Throughout the 1930s, it was the departure point of many important first and record breaking flights, including those of Amelia Earhart and Howard Hughes, which helped to advance aviation technology during the "Golden Age of Aviation."

In 1941, Floyd Bennett Field was sold to the United States Navy and became Naval Air Station-New York. During World War II, Floyd Bennett Field was the busiest naval air station in the United States. The field was used for training and antisubmarine patrol flights. It was also the home of the Naval Air Ferry Command which was responsible for the acceptance, commissioning, and ferrying of naval aircraft from the factories to the fleet.

The historic control tower and terminal at Floyd Bennett Field has been converted into a visitor center. From the top of the tower, enjoy a spectacular view of Floyd Bennett Field and Jamaica Bay. Exhibits and programs celebrate the people and historical events connected with Floyd Bennett Field. The runways are now popular with model airplane enthusiasts and cyclists while acres of restored grassy fields give nature lovers a chance to explore the wildlife in their own back yards.

Model airplane flying is popular year-round. Call 718-338-3799 for information on the Radio Controlled Flying Field at Floyd Bennett Field.

Enjoy Brooklyn's largest Community Garden at Floyd Bennett Field. Call the Floyd Bennett Garden Association at 718-338-4255.

Archery is offered year round. Call 718-338-3799 for archery permits for Floyd Bennett Field.

Aviator Sports and Events Center, housed in a former hangar, offers indoor ice skating, hockey, a climbing wall, gymnastics, basketball and outdoor sports fields. Call 718-758-7500 for more information.

Map of Floyd Bennett Field

Latitude, Longitude: 40.591670, -73.890550

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Activities

  • Boating

    Park programs for small boat sailing, canoeing and kayaking are offered in spring, summer and autumn. The Jamaica Bay Kayak trail offers suggested routes and launch points throughout the bay. Contact the park or visit the official website to download the kayak trail map.

    Hand-launched boating permits for privately owned small, hand-launched boats (canoes, kayaks and rowboats) are sold at the Floyd Bennett Field Ranger Station, and are valid for the calendar year in which they are purchased. For information on launch sites, call 718-338-3799.

    During summer, basic sailboat instruction is offered by the park. Call 718-338-3799.

    For larger boats Gateway Marina, located on Flatbush Avenue across from Floyd Bennett Field, offers slips and a full range of boating services. Call 718-252-8761.

    Note: In order to protect wildlife and sensitive marsh habitat, entry into salt marshes or onto any islands in Jamaica Bay is not permitted.

  • Bird Watching

    Birding is great at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, as well as the back fort area of Fort Tilden and the North Forty area of Floyd Bennett Field. The mixed woodland composition of the North Forty attracts a wide variety of birds as well as birdwatchers from the metropolitan area and beyond, including the Brooklyn Bird Club that regularly explores Floyd Bennett Field.

    Please remember that in order to provide food for wildlife, the removal of any plant materials, including fruits, berries, nuts and seeds is prohibited from Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

  • Bicycling

    Bike along the historic runways of Floyd Bennett Field, or along trails at Fort Tilden. The Rockaway Gateway Greenway, a paved multi-use pathway adjacent to Floyd Bennett Field and Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, offers a unique way to see the park.

  • Camping

    Floyd Bennett Field has four public campsites available for a unique urban, yet rustic camping experience. For more information, call 718-338-3799.

    Ecology Village, located at Floyd Bennett Field, offers a two day camping experience to students, ages 8-14. The program is available to non-profit and organized groups during the months of July and August. For more information and schedule of workshops, please call the rangers at (718) 338-4306.

  • Fishing

    Floyd Bennett Field, Fort Tilden and Canarsie Pier offer great fishing opportunities. Call 718-338-3799 for permit and other information.

  • Golfing

    The Brooklyn Golf Center, located on Flatbush Avenue adjacent to Floyd Bennett Field, offers a driving range, pro shop and golf instruction. Call 718-253-6816.

  • Hiking

    In the northernmost corner of Floyd Bennett Field lies the North Forty Natural Area, a haven for wildlife and nature lovers alike. The North Forty is easily accessible by public transportation, car or bicycle.

    Bordered on the north side by the Belt Parkway and on the east side by Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, the North Forty is crisscrossed with hiking trails and boasts the Return-A-Gift pond, a freshwater gem that harbors reptiles such as turtles, amphibians and wetland birds.

  • Historic Sites

    Historic Hangar B is the home to Floyd Bennett Field's Historic Aircraft Restoration Project (HARP). Visitors to the hangar can see dedicated Volunteers-In-Parks working on the park's collection of historic aircraft. Many of the volunteers come to the project with decades of experience working on planes, either in the military, or in the civil sector, or both. The goal is to return these aircraft to nearly original condition.

    HARP volunteers are also building a full scale model of Wiley Post's Lockheed Vega, "The Winnie Mae" from scratch! The volunteers and park rangers are available to lead tours of the hangar and planes, and are more than happy to answer any questions.

    What makes a visit to Hangar B unique is that visitors can see, hear, and feel what it is like to be in a working airplane hangar. It is easy to imagine that is 1945, or 1965 during a visit to Hangar B.

    Hangar B is open to the public Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For group tours, call 718-338-3799.

  • Horseback Riding

    Horseback riding and lessons are available to the general public. Contact the Jamaica Bay Riding Academy at 718-531-8949.

  • Wildlife Watching

    The North Forty Natural Area is the best place to look for park wildlife.

  • Winter Sports

    When it snows in New York City, bring your skis to Floyd Bennett Field and lay some tracks. Rangers cut a track for cross country skiing beginning at the Aviator Sports parking lot and looping through the "North Forty" mixed woodland area. Cross country skiing is only available after significant snowfalls in the area.

    Call the Ranger Station at 718-338-3799 for more information about trail conditions and for accurate information about access.

Seasonality/Weather

The New York metropolitan area experiences four distinct seasons. Temperatures are moderate in the spring and fall, but range into the 90s during the summer to below freezing in winter.

Directions

Driving

From the North, East, and West:

* Take the Belt Parkway to Exit 11S (Flatbush Avenue) * Follow Flatbush Avenue south to the fourth traffic light (and last light before the Marine Parkway Bridge toll plaza.) * Turn left at the light, into the park.

From the South (and alternate route from other directions):

* Woodhaven Boulevard to Cross Bay Boulevard. * West on Beach Channel Drive to the Marine Parkway Bridge (towards Brooklyn.) * Turn right at the first traffic light after the toll plaza into the park.

Public Transportation

Subway:

* Take the #2 (also #5 at rush hours) to Flatbush Avenue. * Alternate: Take the A or S to Rockaway Park / Beach 116th St. *

Bus: Take Q35 bus from either subway stop to park.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(718) 338-3799

Links