The RAF announces the re-opening of Creighton Island airstrip on the Georgia coastline. Creighton Island is a privately owned, undeveloped, inner barrier island in McIntosh County and is home to cattle, donkeys, wild pigs, the occasional coyote and armadillos. The approximately 2,700-ft airstrip is located on the southern tip of the island but had been unusable until recently.
Following contact by Georgia Liaison Eric Davis in early 2016, the owners readily agreed to allow the RAF to re-open the airstrip. In July, several RAF volunteers, and volunteers from Florida’s Sport Aviation, Antique, and Classic Assoc. (FSAACA) began work by filling in holes and clearing brush. “The owner had all the necessary tools and equipment to get the job done,” retired RAF Director Tim Clifford said.
The group returned Labor Day weekend. “We landed just three days after Hurricane Hermine and the strip was in great shape despite receiving more than five inches of rain,” explained RAF South Carolina Liaison Bill Repucci. Volunteers cleaned the shower house, cleared debris from the camping areas and did some runway maintenance.
A growing number of RAF and FSAACA members met again in mid-January. “This most recent winter work party was our best yet,” Eric said. “Sixteen volunteers arrived in eleven aircraft from as far away as Durham.” They improved and repaired the island’s barge dock and cleared trees from the south end of the runway. When complete, they will have added another 250 feet of runway length. “It’s this kind of interest and willingness that’ll keep special places like Creighton available to the pilot population now and in the future,” Eric said.
“Future projects include improving tie-down and tent camping,” said Bobby Capozzi, RAF’s Florida Liaison. “You can get by with your sleeping bag, towel, toiletries, and food. There are three bunkhouses, each with four bunks, a shower house, two bathrooms, an outdoor pavilion with tables, sink, propane stove and fire pit. The water on the island is drawn from a 600-foot well and is the best tasting coastal water you’ve ever experienced,” Capozzi added. Access to the island is by permission and only after review of a safety briefing that is available on the RAF website. Pilots may contact Eric Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about scheduling a visit or to volunteer for future work parties.
Former Florida Liaison Jack Tyler observed, “Only a couple of years ago, Eric only had the name of the family that owned Creighton Island. It’s amazing what all you volunteers have accomplished in a relatively short time as brand new RAF airfield projects go.”
Jeannine Cook provides a very informative historical interpretation on the Creighton Island website where she writes, “The Island’s long, diverse history combines with great natural beauty to represent a unique microcosm of Georgia’s coast. Today’s owners deeply respect the environmental importance of their island sanctuary.”
Submitted On January 19, 2017.