Creighton Island is a privately owned, undeveloped, inner barrier island in McIntosh County and is home to cattle, donkeys, wild pigs, the occasional coyote, and armadillos. The approximately 2,700-foot airstrip is located on the southern tip of the island, but had been unusable until recently, according to RAF officials.
In 2016, RAF Georgia Liaison Eric Davis contacted the owners, who readily agreed to allow the RAF to re-open the airstrip.
Work began last July when volunteers from the RAF and Florida’s Sport Aviation, Antique, and Classic Association (FSAACA) filled in holes and cleared brush.
“The owner had all the necessary tools and equipment to get the job accomplished,” retired RAF Director Tim Clifford said.
The group returned to the island Labor Day weekend.
“We landed on the strip three days after Hurricane Hermine and it was in great shape despite receiving more than five inches of rain,” explained RAF South Carolina Liaison Bill Repucci.
The volunteers cleaned the shower house, cleared the camping areas and runway of storm debris, and performed additional runway maintenance.
More RAF and FSAACA members met again in mid-January.
“This most recent winter work party was our best yet,” explained Davis. “Sixteen volunteers arrived in 11 aircraft from as far away as Durham, North Carolina.”
The workers improved and repaired the barge dock and cleared trees from the runway. When complete, they’ll have added another 250 feet to the runway length.
“It’s this kind of interest and willingness that’ll keep special places like Creighton available to the pilot population now and in the future,” Davis said.
“You can get by with only your sleeping bag, towel, toiletries, and food,” Capozzi added. “There are three bunkhouses, a shower house, bathrooms, an outdoor pavilion with tables, sink, propane stove and fire pit. The water on the island is drawn from a 600-foot well and is the best tasting coastal water you’ve ever experienced.”
Access to the island is by permission and only after review of a pilot safety briefing, available on the RAF website. Pilots can contact Eric Davis at email@example.com to learn more about scheduling a visit or to volunteer for future work parties.
For those interested in knowing more about the island’s past, Jeannine Cook provides a historical interpretation on the Creighton Island website where she writes: “The Island’s long, diverse history combines with great natural beauty to represent a unique microcosm of Georgia’s coast. Today’s owners deeply respect the environmental importance of their island sanctuary.”