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My friend and I were talking about their new house with 7 acres in rural Massachusetts. Since I'm always shopping for excuses to log hours, I half=jokingly talked about coming out to visit if they could find a length of level grass long enough. (They assured me they could.)

This got me thinking: If they were going to build a proper turf strip out there they'd need to do a bunch of paperwork and get approvals from local entities, the FAA, and MassDOT.

All of the language therein, however, seems to be focused around building, changing, modifying, or abandoning airports.

If they never strike the earth, is there any reason to expect them to get into trouble if I fly in and out of their backyard a few times a year?

How far can you go towards facilitating bush planes flying in and out of somewhere before you need to file paperwork?

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  • $\begingroup$ From What are the FAA regulations on grass airstrips?, the quotation only concerns fields used by "air carriers". But Can I land a plane in a field? is probably what you're looking for. $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Commented Apr 28, 2022 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ @GdD It does not. I know I can land there. But there's a difference between landing there once, and making repeated trips in and out. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 28, 2022 at 13:55
  • $\begingroup$ No, there isn't any difference between landing there once and making repeated trips @WilliamWalkerIII, at least from an FAA point of view. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Commented Apr 28, 2022 at 14:10
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    $\begingroup$ Mongo's answer in the dupe question addresses the "repeated" aspect pretty clearly, so voting to close as dupe. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Commented Apr 28, 2022 at 15:02

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The FAA doesn’t care how often private aircraft use a private field. It is completely optional to register it as an airport, though there are substantial protections if you do that make it worth filing the paperwork.

However, state/local laws vary wildly; in some places, you can’t legally land somewhere even once without it being a registered airport, while others don’t care if you do it every day. So, consult an aviation attorney for details on your specific location.

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