f you’ve ever fantasized about your own private airfield in the backyard, here are a few things to consider about making the grass strip of your dreams a reality. As an aviation marketing professional, I’ve had the good fortune to work for some of the finest aerospace companies in the world. Which means I’ve also had the great privilege of living all over these United States. From Savannah, Georgia, to Bend, Oregon, and Duluth, Minnesota, to Kerrville, Texas, east to west, north to south, I’ve moved my tools, pool table and the balance of our household belongings over a considerable amount of North American terra firma. With the prospect of each move, a familiar daydream popped into my head: “Will this finally be my chance to live with my airplane at a private airfield?” The fantasy always began the same. Pull out a VFR sectional (or most recently, ForeFlight on my iPad) and explore existing private airfields and residential airparks in the area — the ones with the familiar capital “R” inside the magenta circle that you’re never quite sure if you’re welcome to visit or not. Then I’d open my laptop and search airport communities within a reasonable commute to my new job. Fortunately, working for aircraft OEMs always meant that my employer was based on an airport, thereby making the commute from grass strip to work an easy proposition. Unfortunately, the process always ended the same (which I’m told is the definition of insanity): continuing to do the same thing but expecting different results. Perhaps a wiser course of action would be to explore buying property to build a house and my own grass strip. After all, the private strips dotting the sectionals today were built by ambitious individuals who defied admonitions from a spouse and other family members and ignored the snicker of neighbors. And who knows, perhaps the culmination of building a grass strip would unfold like the plot theme from the movie Field of Dreams. I certainly wouldn’t expect “Shoeless” Joe Jackson to come walking out of a cornfield with baseball glove in hand, but a visit from the apparition of Glenn Curtiss would make for quite an interesting hangar tale. Hollywood fiction aside, just what does it take to make a grass strip a reality? And what will the neighbors think — especially those whose property you might need to overfly at treetop level to land?