RAF Seeks Funds For Ryan Field Barn Raising

The Recreational Aviation Foundation has kept busy in recent months.

Isle Airport
The saving of Isle Airport was a group effort by the RAF, AOPA, and the Minnesota Pilots Association, among others.Recreational Aviation Foundation

It’s a group known for its proactive approach to keeping airports open—so it’s no surprise that the folks at the Recreational Aviation Foundation have kept busy over the past few months. Projects abound across the country that can be supported with small work parties and private action well suited to the current state of general aviation operations.

One project well underway: the raising of funds to raise a barn adjacent to Ryan Field (2MT1), near West Glacier, Montana. The 30-by-40-ft post-and-beam Amish-style venue will host events and bathroom facilities in the future—once the team’s ready to put up the structure in an old-fashioned group effort. Ryan Field is privately owned by the RAF following a donation from Ben and Agnes “Butchie” Ryan—to fly in, you need to agree to “request and receive a current safety briefing on an annual basis,” according to the RAF.

Another recent win celebrated by the RAF is the continued operation of Isle Airport (MY72), near the Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota. Dave Retka, president of the Isle Airport Association reported to the RAF in early June that the Isle city council had voted in favor of keeping the airport open. According to the story on the RAF website, “Isle airport is listed on the charts as private. The IAA operates the airport with donations and membership dues, and some fundraising. At this time, the airport will remain private, and not seek ‘public’ status.”

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