For Backcountry Pilots, A New Place To Stay

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Pilots who are ready to get out and explore the western U.S. this summer will find a warm welcome in Bozeman, Mont., thanks to the folks at the Recreational Aviation Foundation. Volunteers have built a new pilot shelter on land donated by the Gallatin Field Airport (KBZN), with bath and shower facilities, lots of green grass, a barbecue pit, and tie-downs. Pilots are welcome to stop by for a lunch break or to camp overnight. "It is a free facility and a wonderful aviation amenity," John McKenna, of the RAF, told AVweb this week. "The Bozeman airport would love to encourage out-of-the-area pilots to use it. They just need to know it exists."

The public airport offers two paved runways plus a grass strip, and fuel is sold on the field. Yellowstone National Park is nearby, and the area is a popular fly-fishing, hiking, and outdoor recreation destinations. "I know when I have traveled across the country, finding a place like this pilot facility would be like finding a gem," said McKenna. He also added that the RAF will be hosting a work party this weekend to help wrap up work on a new grass strip under construction in the Lewis and Clark National Forest. It will be the first new airstrip on U.S. Forest Service land in over 45 years, he said.