Repaving at 3,800-foot Grapevine, (88AZ) has been completed, thanks to a Master Challenge Cost Share Agreement between the US Forest Service, Arizona Pilots Association, and the RAF, coordinated by RAF Arizona Liaison Mark Spencer. Each entity contributed funds. APA provided $10,000, the RAF provided $5,000, and the Tonto National Forest invested $15,000 for a total of $30,000 worth of work.
Years ago, the Arizona Pilots Association recognized the value of Grapevine, an abandoned asphalt airstrip on the Tonto National Forest within the Sonoran Desert near Roosevelt Lake, the largest body of water in central Arizona. “Hundreds of volunteers from APA, the 99s, and the RAF gave their time, money, sweat and even blood, (everything has thorns in the Sonoran Desert) cooperating with the US Forest Service to restore the airport to a safe condition,” RAF Arizona Liaison Mark Spencer said.
Since the 2012 re-opening, Grapevine has become very popular with recreational flyers from the Phoenix area and central Arizona. As one of only two asphalt airstrips we know of on Forest Service lands, “it is also frequently used by National Guard helicopters, Air Force Search and Rescue training, and has been a critical part of fire operations over the last two years for the Forest service,” Spencer said.
“Grapevine is an example of what can be accomplished through partnering,” Spencer added.
For information on Grapevine, see the Airfield Guide.
Submitted on October 13, 2022.