RAF New Mexico Liaison Ron Keller reports that after years of cooperative effort with the New Mexico Airstrip Network, “we convinced the BLM that Cuba Airstrip could be a valuable asset for them as well as a recreational asset for aviation.” This BLM-owned airstrip had been used for sagebrush spraying, but had fallen into disrepair with ruts, cattle tracks, and erosion on the runway surface.

The 3,800-ft airstrip lies at an elevation of 6,798 feet and appeals to recreational pilots because the Continental Divide Trail runs adjacent to the airstrip.

RAF Director Emeritus Rol Murrow joined Ron, outgoing NMPA President Joyce Woods, and others on the planning/steering committee, and they started meeting with the BLM field office responsible for the airstrip.

“Rol developed an improvement plan for future amenities; members of the Airstrip Network created a maintenance and operations plan; New Mexico Aviation Division offered funding and technical work; and New Mexico Pilots Association and the RAF provided technical guidance. This has been a total team effort,”  Ron said, with a nod to RAF California Liaison Rick Lach for suggestions on how to best motivate the BLM toward the goal of reclaiming the strip for public use.

Phase 1 is nearly complete, the strip was graded, and FAA registration and charting is in progress. More work is planned, but for now the airstrip is useable. See Airfield.Guide for details.

“I want to thank Rol for his vision, Joyce Woods for her support, and all the members of the NM Airstrip Network planning committee,” Ron said.

Submitted June 22, 2020

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