Each month we highlight an airstrip that the RAF has positively impacted. We hope that you will get out and enjoy these airstrips. This month’s Featured Airstrip is Johannesburg in California.

In 2013, RAF California Liaison Rick Lach initiated conversation with the BLM about reopening Johannesburg Airport in California, a two-runway dirt airport which appeared on charts until the 1970s. The airstrip served the nearby communities of Randsburg and Johannesburg, which are both functioning gold and quartz mining settlements that date back to the 1800s. Gold miners who had previously worked in South Africa named the outpost. 

Thanks to the cooperation of the BLM, on September 15, 2018, the RAF organized a group of volunteers to re-open Johannesburg Airport, after twenty years of abandonment by all but OHV enthusiasts. 

Visitors to Johannesburg airstrip can access a gas station via a short walk, or enjoy restaurants, bars and lodging by walking about two miles over the hill into picturesque Randsburg with its surviving original facades and buildings. September’s Western Days Celebration brings live music and vendors, and crowds can pan for gold and witness gun fights. There are also many abandoned and functioning mines in the immediate area.

For a full safety briefing, visit: https://theraf.org/content/johannesburg-safety-briefing

Submitted on February 4, 2019

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