The final version of the federal highway bill that was passed on Friday narrows the focus of an amendment proposed by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and strongly supported by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to expand the powers of the director of the National Park Service (NPS) to restrict air-tour flights nationwide.
United States National Park Service
After debating Grand Canyon air-tour noise for eight years, the Grand Canyon Working Group (GCWG) has left the issue to the National Park Service (NPS), which often supports environmentalist positions. At a recent meeting the GCWG disagreed on NPS alternatives, including a seasonal shift in air-tour corridors by alternatively closing the Zuni and Dragon corridors, which are now open concurrently.
The subject of aircraft noise in the Grand Canyon area has been of special interest to helicopter operators for years now, but it might be taking on an even broader dimension. The definition of “substantial restoration of natural quiet” might lead to new rules for aircraft flying over the Grand Canyon National Park at and above 18,000 feet, according to a public notice from the National Park Service (NPS).