First time Saturday tour of Tucson’s famed ‘Boneyard’ | News
Tucson, AZ- This Saturday marks the first Saturday tour of the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), or as it is locally known the ‘Boneyard'. These tours are only conducted during the week and are often sold out. This Saturday's event is designed to give working Tucsonans a chance to tour the facility.
So far, August 31 is the only Saturday tour scheduled. It is not open on Sunday, September 1 or other weekends. Organizers tell Tucson News Now they don't have the man-power to keep the tours running on the weekends.
The ‘Boneyard' was created in 1946 for long term storage, regeneration and ‘recycling' of aircraft from the U.S. military and federal agencies that often include NASA. Current numbers for 309 AMARG are 4,000 aircraft sitting on more than 2,600 acres of land.
Having a closer "inside-the-fence" view has always been in high demand, so in 1999 D-M awarded the tour operations to Pima Air and Space Museum.
Boneyard tours usually operate during regular museum hours during the week - Monday to Friday, when many Tucsonans are working. Thanks to the coordination of D-M, AMARG and the museum, with volunteer airmen manning the security gates, on 'Labor Saturday' (the Saturday of the Labor Day Weekend) Pima Air & Space Museum is offering a guided tour of the 'Boneyard' on an air-conditioned bus.
Tour prices and hours will be:
$5 for Pima County residents (August 31 only); $7 for non-Pima County adults; and $4 for children 12 and under (the tour is not recommended for children age 7 and under). Tour times are 10 a.m.; 11:30 a.m.; 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. (The tours take approximately 90 minutes) Walk up tickets will be available on a very limited basis, starting when the museum opens at 9 a.m. Reservations are recommended, but not required. To reserve a spot call Pima Air & Space Museum at (520)574-0462.
There are several security procedures that need to be followed as well:
A government-issued photo ID (ie drivers license, military ID or passport) is required for all persons 16 years of age and older.
Check in minimum one hour before the start of the tour.
Prohibited items include - firearms, weapons, illegal substances; backpacks, camera cases and other non-essential items are not allowed on AMARG tours. A small camera without a case, a small purse/fanny pack are allowed as a 'carry-on' item. All items will be visually inspected prior to boarding the bus.
Photo ops are scheduled on the tour, however everyone will remain on the bus and all photos will be taken through the windows.
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