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New Regulations Seek to Quiet Skies Over US National Parks, Restricting Tourist Flights

Stricter Air Tour Rules Aim to Balance Conservation and Tourism

Written By Shafeek Ahmad,

As serene landscapes face the constant hum of tourist flights, new regulations are set to transform the skies above iconic US national parks. Aimed at preserving the tranquility of these cherished natural havens, the rules will reshape the air tour industry, sparking debates between operators and conservationists.

Written By Shafeek Ahmad,

As serene landscapes face the constant hum of tourist flights, new regulations are set to transform the skies above iconic US national parks. Aimed at preserving the tranquility of these cherished natural havens, the rules will reshape the air tour industry, sparking debates between operators and conservationists.

Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park: Among the stringent regulations, Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park stand out, implementing a ban on tour flights within a half-mile radius of these South Dakota landmarks, starting this April. Tour operators, such as Mark Schlaefli of Black Hills Aerial Adventures, express concerns about the impact on their routes and the need for alternative solutions.

Legal Background: These regulations are a response to a federal appeals court ruling three years ago, highlighting the failure of the National Park Service and the Federal Aviation Administration to enforce a 2000 law governing commercial air tours over parks and tribal lands. A schedule for rule-setting ensued, leading to the current wave of management plans.

Industry Response and Potential Litigation: Facing potential litigation, the air tour industry contends that their flights offer unparalleled access, especially for elderly and disabled individuals. Bailey Wood, spokesperson for the Helicopter Association International, describes the experience as “absolutely exhilarating.” However, critics argue that the noise disrupts the natural experience for both visitors and the indigenous tribes residing near these parks.

Environmental Impact and Conservation Concerns: Critics, including Kristen Brengel of the National Parks Conservation Association, emphasize the importance of preserving the natural sounds of birds, flowing lava, and babbling brooks. The contention lies in whether the enjoyment of those on the ground should take precedence over those in the air.

Historical Context: Sightseeing flights originated in the 1930s, gaining popularity after helicopter pilots working on the Hoover Dam project provided flyovers for their families. The issue gained national attention in 1986 when two tour aircraft collided over the Grand Canyon, prompting congressional action and the designation of flight routes and minimum altitudes.

Current Landscape and Future Plans: In 2020, a federal court mandated compliance at 23 national parks, including Glacier, Arches, and Great Smoky Mountains. Plans or agreements have been adopted for most parks, but debates persist, and some plans, like those for Bandelier National Monument and Mount Rushmore, face staunch opposition.

Conclusion: As the debate over air tour regulations intensifies, a congressional oversight hearing is scheduled to address the concerns of both industry stakeholders and environmental advocates. The delicate balance between preserving the natural serenity of these national parks and ensuring accessible tourism remains a challenge that requires careful consideration and collaboration among all parties involved.

Source: Voice of America News Report


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Disclaimer:- This news article was written by the help of syndicated feed, Some of the content and drafting are made by the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) ChatGPT.

About the authorShafeek Ahmad is a freelance writer passionate about business and entrepreneurship. He covers a wide range of topics related to the corporate world and startups. You can find more of his work on Howtobeaspoonie.com.

Author

  • Shafeek Ahmad

    Meet Shafeek Ahmad, a dedicated news writer at HTBS News, with a passion for unearthing stories that matter. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to delivering accurate and engaging news, Shafeek is a trusted source of information. Bringing years of experience to the table, Shafeek's writing is a blend of expertise and storytelling. In an era of fast-paced news cycles, Shafeek's articles stand out for their precision and commitment to journalistic integrity.

Shafeek Ahmad
Shafeek Ahmadhttps://howtobeaspoonie.com
Meet Shafeek Ahmad, a dedicated news writer at HTBS News, with a passion for unearthing stories that matter. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to delivering accurate and engaging news, Shafeek is a trusted source of information. Bringing years of experience to the table, Shafeek's writing is a blend of expertise and storytelling. In an era of fast-paced news cycles, Shafeek's articles stand out for their precision and commitment to journalistic integrity.
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