The FAA, in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS), has ended its previously initiated processes for the development of air tour management plans (ATMP) and their associated environmental assessments for some national parks. Instead, the agencies will develop new plans for many more parks than were covered in the first ATMP.
The agencies had worked the ATMP processes at six parks from 2004 to 2011 but ceased all effort by September 2012 due to a focus on other program priorities. “Given the length of time since these processes were initiated and actively worked, termination of these processes will allow the agencies to start anew with the development of ATMPs and associated environmental documents at these and other parks,” the FAA said.
The FAA and NPS are required to file a proposed schedule within four months for bringing all 23 eligible U.S. parks into compliance with new ATMPs within two years. Otherwise, it will have to “provide specific, concrete reasons why it would take longer,” according to the Federal National Environmental Policy Act of 1970.