Public input sought for proposed air tours of Bryce NP.

BRYCE NATIONAL PARK, Utah. — The National Park Service (NPS) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are seeking public feedback on a draft Air Tour Management Plan (ATMP) that is being proposed for Bryce Canyon National Park.

The agencies encourage anyone with an interest in or concern about air tours over Bryce Canyon National Park to review and comment on the draft ATMP. The proposed plan would authorize up to 515 air tours per year on defined routes. There were on average 515 air tours per year reported at Bryce Canyon National Park from 2017 – 2019.

The NPS and FAA will host a virtual public meeting regarding the DRAFT Bryce Canyon National Park Air Tour Management Plan on Monday, September 27, 2021 from 2:30-4:00 pm (MT) that will be live-streamed at on this link.. Members of the public who wish to observe the virtual meeting can also access the livestream from the following FAA social media platforms on the day of the event, including this Facebook page, this Twitter page, or this YouTube channel.

Public feedback can be provided through the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website from September 3 through October 3. The NPS and FAA will consider comments to help inform the final ATMP for Bryce Canyon National Park. The project website is available here.

“We encourage anyone who is interested in air tours over the park to share their thoughts on the proposed plan for Bryce Canyon National Park,” said Jim Ireland, the park’s Superintendent in a statement. “The draft plan is based on current operations and reported air tour levels at Bryce Canyon National Park. Its purpose is to ensure that park resource values, including natural sounds, wilderness character, visitor experiences, wildlife, and other natural and cultural resources are protected.”

Bryce Canyon National Park is among 24 parks, listed below, of the National Park System developing air tour management plans in cooperation with the FAA. The agencies hope to complete all air tour management plans by the end of August 2022. The schedule is part of a plan approved in 2020 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.

The FAA and the NPS have determined that each ATMP constitutes a Federal undertaking subject to compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and its implementing regulations (36 CFR Part 800). The FAA and the NPS are consulting with tribes, State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, and other interested parties to identify historic properties and assess the potential effects of ATMPs on them.

Visit this NPS site and this FAA site for more detailed information about air tour management plans. Links to meeting notifications, recordings, and slide decks (where applicable) will be posted to the NPS site.

The 24 parks:

1. Arches National Park, Utah
2. Badlands National Park, South Dakota
3. Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico
4. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
5. Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona
6. Canyonlands National Park, Utah
7. Death Valley National Park, California
8. Everglades National Park, Florida
9. Glacier National Park, Montana
10. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area; Arizona, Utah
11. Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California
12. Great Smoky Mountains National Park; Tennessee, North Carolina
13. Haleakalā National Park, Hawai’i
14. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Hawaiʻi
15. Lake Mead National Recreation Area; Arizona, Nevada
16. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
17. Muir Woods National Monument, California
18. Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota
19. Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah
20. National Parks of New York Harbor Management Unit; New York, New Jersey
21. Olympic National Park, Washington
22. Point Reyes National Seashore, California
23. Rainbow Bridge National Monument, Utah
24. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, California

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