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Backcountry Flying in New Mexico

NEW! John Finley's 2020 Rainy Mesa Workparty Video:

We hope you enjoy flying amongst the enchanting landscapes, cultural treasures, and recreational airstrips we are so fortunate to have in New Mexico.

Fly safely, show mutual respect for landowners and hunters, and remember your responsibility as pilot in command to be fully prepared and capable of the requirements needed for recreational and backcountry flying.

NMPA's Backcountry Committee is dedicated to preservation of backcountry airstrips and expanding recreational flying in New Mexico. 

MISSION: To foster and promote recreational and back country flying in and around New Mexico, working directly with airstrip owners, governmental agencies, related organizations and any individuals as needed.

VISION: An inventory of public and private airstrips, recognized nationwide as a destination on par with that of other states.

SUCCESSESSince forming a New Mexico backcountry pilot group in 2010, accomplishments include:


    1. Nine years of Negrito and/or Gila Regional Fly-ins and work parties involving 200 aircraft and about 500 participants from 6 states

    2. Fly-Ins to Private Airstrips: Whitewater Mesa, Mystic Bluffs, Champion Ranch, Taos Grant Besley, Murrow Field on the Divide 

    3. NM Recreational Use Statute amended to cover aviation, 2011

    4. NMPA communications to disseminate airstrip safety information to pilots


See our New Mexico Recreational Airstrips Map. We continue to accumulate information and airport safety briefings to download: 
            Airstrip Safety Briefings


1. Develop Airstrips: Coordinate maintenance and improvement activities on existing backcountry airstrips and investigate opportunities to open new and/or closed backcountry airstrips.

2. Airstrip Information: Develop and maintain an inventory of existing New Mexico Airstrips and with Board support, share relevant information with the aviation community.

3. Fly-Ins: Plan, promote, and/or host Fly-Ins at backcountry or recreational airstrips.

4. Safety and Training: Coordinate with the Safety committee for NMPA sponsored backcountry related pilot training education activities.

5. Regulatory & Government Affairs: Establish and maintain relationships with the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico DOT Aviation Division, New Mexico Game & Fish, Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF), and any other agency as necessary to further the NMPA Backcountry Committee mission.

6. Promote Recreational Flying: Promote backcountry and recreational flying within the national aviation community. 



- Annual Fly-Ins include Murrow Field on the Divide, Taos-Grant Besley, Mystic Bluffs, and the Gila Regional Fly In (based at Reserve with flyouts to Negrito, Beaverhead, Me-Own, and Jewett Mesa). 

- Annual work parties at Negrito each May.  Anticipate a work party at MeOwn in the future.

For fun places to fly, or see what's up, visit the NMPA FORUM, see the Fly New Mexico page, read our latest Newsletter and check the Calendar for upcoming events.