The Groups Plan To Add New Amenities to the Grapevine Airstrip as Well.
The Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) and Arizona Pilot’s Association (APA) have recently finished crack sealing the Grapevine airstrip, located in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest. This brings the airstrip, which was closed in 1997, one step closer to being fully reopened for use and charted. According to the RAF, most of the maintenance and improvement work on the airstrip is complete. The next step in the process will be to apply a two-coat surface sealing to the entire surface of the airstrip, including the ramp areas. The process, funded by the RAF and APA, is scheduled to take place in the next few weeks.
More Details on the Grapevine Airstrip
Though the 3800 x 40 foot Grapevine airstrip has an asphalt surface, it is located in a prime backcountry environment. The strip is just a quarter mile from the shores of Roosevelt Lake, central Arizona’s largest body of water. In addition to the repaired asphalt surface, the airstrip also features new sun shades and picnic tables. The two groups also plan to add several more fire rings and campsites closer to the lake.
According to the RAF State Liasion for Arizona, Mark Spencer, “Since negotiating for its use the third weekend of each month, Grapevine has introduced dozens of pilots to the backcountry, pilots who might otherwise not have been able to experience it.” Spencer has been working with the US Forest Service to complete the necessary FAA paperwork.
So far, the FAA has completed its airspace analysis and approved use of the airstrip. The next step will be to request an FAA identifier for the airstrip. According to the groups, having the Grapevine airstrip appear on the Phoenix sectional will take some time. However, Spencer is hopeful that pilots will see the airstrip back on the sectional as early as spring of 2017. “This is what we can do through partnering with our friends at the Forest Service, local pilots, and with a dash of patience mixed with persistence,” Spencer added.