Repaved Runways for Model Airplanes Help Citizens Fly High

Dec 15, 2017

With the stunning backdrop of the Organ Mountains, the City of Las Cruces’ Old Foothills Landfill (OFL), at 555 S. Sonoma Ranch Blvd., is a hub of activity not only for year ‘round green waste recycling and clean-fill acceptance, but also for citizens who utilize two onsite recreational venues – a model airplane park and a small archery range.

The closed 150-acre landfill is home to the “nicest model airplane park anywhere in the region” according to Jerry DeLong, former president of the Mesilla Valley Model Airplane Club (MVMAC), providing the perfect open space for flying in a stunning setting. Now in addition to the large paved parking lot, bleachers for observers, and shade structures, the newly-repaved runways (each measuring 600 feet by 100 feet) make it even better.

The model airplane park is possible at the OFL thanks to two City departments and MVMAC. Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) operates the closed landfill, Parks and Recreation oversees maintenance and upkeep of the two recreational venues at the OLF, and MVMAC manages day-to-day activities at the model airplane park.

New, as of the third week of November, the airfield has refreshed pavement ready for more radio-controlled high-flying adventures. With a capable pilot on the ground the planes perform aerial tricks high in the sky creating smoke trails, doing aerobatics and loop-de-loops, flying upside down, and performing touch-and-go landings on the runway.

Robin Lawrence, interim solid waste administrator, explains, “The three-day process to repave the runaways carries out the City’s mission to improve quality of life for residents. It was straightforward, quick, and necessary to preserve the full potential of the model airplane park.”

“ The repaving job was absolutely outstanding,” praised Al Siegwart, incoming president of MVMAC. He explained that it’s not only a boon for club members, but expands tourism for Las Cruces through the hobby.

“The improvements to the park help us better host regional fly-in competitions for model airplane pilots coming from as far as Colorado, Texas, and Arizona,” he said. “We’re very, very proud to be able use this air field.”

Anyone interested in knowing about future events and learning more about this radio control hobby is encouraged to contact MVMAC. The club offers a wealth of information and some free training for people who want to learn to fly. Training planes are provided by the club with a qualified Club Instructor, so residents don’t have to spend money just to learn the basics of flight.

Flying is restricted to regular open hours for the landfill; the OFL is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is closed on Sundays. Learn more about the club by contacting Al Siegwart at (908) 319-3684 or go to the MVMAC website

Submitted by Las Cruces Utilities

You can reach Las Cruces Utilities at 528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides GAS – WATER – WASTEWATER – SOLID WASTE services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.