Public Input Sought on Proposed Air Tour Management Plans
WASHINGTON – The National Park Service (NPS) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will seek the public’s feedback on proposed air tour management plans for 24 national parks. Today, the agencies published the plan details and meeting dates for Everglades, Death Valley, Olympic, and Mount Rainier national parks.
To encourage broad public participation, the agencies will livestream the meetings on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Comments may be submitted through the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment website. Updated information on meetings and comment periods will be announced through the publication of notices in the Federal Register.
“The purpose of the air tour plans is to ensure that park resource values, including natural sounds, wilderness character, visitor experiences, wildlife, and other natural and cultural resources, are protected in national parks where air tours occur,” said Ray Sauvajot, Associate Director for Natural Resource Stewardship and Science in the National Park Service.
“Public feedback is vital in developing proposed air tour management plans for national parks across the United States,” said Kevin Welsh, Executive Director, FAA Office of Environment and Energy. “The FAA looks forward to working in partnership with the National Park Service, tribal leaders and community groups.”
The agencies hope to complete all air tour management plans by the end of August 2022. The schedule is part of a plan approved by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for the agencies to comply with the National Parks Air Tour Management Act of 2000 within two years.
An important part of the process is the inclusion of Tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. The agencies are consulting with Tribes that have tribal lands within or adjacent to national parks with air tours, and with Tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations that attach historic and cultural significance to resources within these parks.
Please visit this NPS site and this FAA site for detailed information about air tour management plans. Links to meeting notifications, recordings, and slide decks (where applicable) will be posted to the NPS site.