Recreational Aviation Opportunities Expand in the Northeast

RAF, AOPA and SPA make strides to gain greater access to backcountry flying.

Recreational aviation
Recreational aviation is gaining ground.Andy Rowe

Recreational pilots in the northeastern part of the United States can rejoice as the Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Seaplane Pilots Association (SPA) have made strides to gain greater access to backcountry strips and waters for aviation activities.

The RAF has succeeded in opening up a strip called Ragmuff in the North Maine Woods, a 3.5 million-acre piece of recreational land in Maine that is privately owned by a partnership of corporations and individuals. RAF hopes this is the first of several recreational airstrips in the area to be opened to the public.

Ohio senator Bill Coley
Ohio senator Bill Coley.AOPA

“Steve Mason and I have our eyes on several other strips, some with even better recreational offerings,” said RAF’s Maine liaison Andy Rowe.

Recreational aviation is also gaining ground in Ohio. While the paperwork has not yet been signed, pilots may soon be able to fly their seaplanes into several lakes and waterways in the state. AOPA and SPA have been working with state officials and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources now plans to create rules that allow for seaplanes landing on Buckeye Lake, Indian Lake, Long Lake, Salt Fork Reservoir and possibly more in the near future.

“As the birthplace of aviation, it is incumbent upon us to make our state a place that welcomes aviation enthusiasts,” said Ohio’s senator Bill Coley.