This photo is a view from one of the routes in the National Park Service (NPS) Preferred Alternative within the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), Special Flight Rules Area in the Vicinity of Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP), illustrating the high quality scenic views and grandeur of GCNP. This view is looking west at Vishnu Temple, Wotans Throne and Freya Castle.
The Draft EIS was developed to address the mandate of the 1987 National Parks Overflights Act to provide for substantial restoration of the natural quiet and experience of Grand Canyon National Park and for protection of public health and safety from adverse effects associated with aircraft overflights. Through the Draft EIS, the NPS is proposing a plan for managing helicopter and airplane flights over Grand Canyon. These flights currently carry more than 400,000 visitors above the canyon each year. Like all other uses in the park, air-tours play an important role in visitor enjoyment. But without better, more thoughtful management air-tour flights can interfere with the enjoyment of visitors on the ground. Air-tour flights also affect soundscape and other park resources of Grand Canyon’s 1,902 square miles.
The Draft EIS can be reviewed online at http://www.parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=65&projectID=28052&documentID=38849 Comments can be submitted online at the same Web address (the preferred method), or mailed to Superintendent, Grand Canyon National Park, Attention: Office of Planning and Compliance, P.O. Box 129, Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023, or provided at one of the public meetings. Comments will be accepted through Monday, June 20, 2011.