Grapevine Is Finally Open!!!
By Mark Spencer
A beautiful thing happened last week as the new Phoenix FAA sectional has removed the circle with an X through it that occupied the sectional for the last 20+ years, replacing it with the new Grapevine Airstrip symbol! It's taken nearly five years of collaboration between the APA, the RAF, the USFS, and even national MOU between the RAF and the USFS to accomplish this. Hundreds of volunteers have given their time, sweat and even blood (everything has thorns in the Sonoran Desert!) to make this happen. Grapevine has even become an example we can all point to when working with other land managers exhibiting what can be accomplished through partnering. This would not be complete without pointing out the very willing and supportive District Ranger, Kelly Jardine, and his trust of the aviation community. While designated as private, access is open to all but commercial operations and training. The identifier is 88AZ and our third weekend gatherings and Saturday lunch in spring and fall will continue!
I could go on and on about this, but suffice it to say that many people sacrificed their personal time and finances to make this possible. Grapevine has become a symbol of collaboration between the aviation community and the USFS. Now the challenge is to continue to respect the Forest Service’s vision for the site. This include no commercial operations, no training, no automobile access, and that we all practice the principles of Leave no Trace! Please always know and obey fire restrictions! There are limited camp sites along the eastern side of the airstrip and a couple on the west at midfield. Please do not clear new areas. Always hand pull your aircraft off the airstrip as far away from the runway edge as practical. Be courteous to other campers, and keep safety in the forefront of every visit to Grapevine.
The port-a-john will remain available from September through May, and we will continue our third weekend camp outs and lunch on Saturday during those months.
Your continued donations to the APA’s backcountry fund will ensure continued maintenance and rental of the port-a-john. We will also be installing additional fire rings at the several camp sites.
Please review APA’s safety brief and know yours and your aircraft’s limitation before visiting Grapevine, you are the pilot in command and are responsible for yours and your passenger’s safety.
Open to Private GA April 2017
The 99’s complete lettering on the runway!
If you want to be a part of the continued success of the Arizona Pilot’s Association,
speak up, we need a few good pilots to lighten the load!