NMPA volunteers who love the backcountry and aren't afraid of hard work are helping to preserve historic airstrips in the region including Beaverhead, Jewett Mesa, MeOwn,Negrito, Rainy Mesa and Sacaton. The paved Reserve airport serves as a base for NMPA's annual Gila Regional Fly In. Participants typically camp at either Reserve or Negrito while others take advantage of Catron County motels, restaurants, mogas, supplies, and ice cream!
Best described by the USFS Reserve District Ranger, John Pierson, "the Gila is a treasure". John welcomes aviation access to enjoy this remote and beautiful region of the state. He notes the unique ability for aviation volunteers to help support these remote airstrips and facilities.
Installing windsocks, clearing rocks, repairing and installing fence, and blocking old roads are some of the projects completed to date. A vault toilet was installed at Negrito in 2019, thanks to many years of increasing airstrip utilization, establishing credibility, and NMPA member donations.
NMPA in partnership with the USFS and the Recreational Aviation Foundation maintains a list of priority projects for expanding recreational opportunities in the Gila. Rainy Mesa was returned to operational status in 2020 and Sacaton in 2023.
For a map, photos, and details of the Gila airstrips, download this excerpt from our annual presentation at Oshkosh. Gila Airstrips Overview
For individual airstrip info: Beaverhead (13NM) Double Circle (AZ66) Glenwood (E94) Me-Own (1NM0) Negrito (0NM7) Jewett Mesa (13Q) Reserve (T16) Rainy Mesa(NM54) Sacaton (NM16)
Safety Briefings for these and others: Airstrip Safety Briefings
For detailed maps, runway data, relative hazard indices, approach and landing patterns, contact information, weather, photos and videos see also: Airfield.Guide.