A quick trip to Gila River Memorial Airport


Drone footage from a DJI Mavic Pro of the closed Gila River Memorial Airport.

Gila River Memorial Airport was built in 1942 as Williams Auxiliary Army Airfield #5, one of several satellite airfields for Williams Army Airfield. After the war, it was renamed Goodyear Air Force Auxiliary Airfield, with its original triangular configuration modified to accommodate early jet aircraft of the 1950s. During the 1960s, it passed on to civilian control as Goodyear Airport, then as Memorial Airfield. No hangar space existed at the airport until the late 1970s, when the airport began playing host to older piston-engined transport aircraft, many of which had been converted for use as air tankers. The majority of the converted aircraft were operated by Biegert Aviation. 

By the 1990s, it had become an aircraft boneyard. By 2007, the Gila River Indian Community had assumed control of the airfield, renaming it Gila River Memorial Airport, and all commercial tenants were evicted from the property in the hopes of turning the airfield into a casino. In 2008, numerous aircraft were still present, including C-54s, DC-4s, DC-7s, PV-2s, and a Howard 500. Many of them have since been removed, with some of the old airport outbuildings dismantled, with further plans to expand and develop the airport still in progress. 

The airport is no longer used and is in a state of total abandonment. 



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