The National Park Service (NPS) is proposing new rules to cap the number of air-tour flights over the Grand Canyon, further restrict flight corridors and altitudes adjacent to it, and mandate the use of “quiet-technology” helicopters flying tours there.
Mohave County, Arizona
After debating Grand Canyon air-tour noise for eight years, the Grand Canyon Working Group (GCWG) has left the issue to the National Park Service (NPS), which often supports environmentalist positions. At a recent meeting the GCWG disagreed on NPS alternatives, including a seasonal shift in air-tour corridors by alternatively closing the Zuni and Dragon corridors, which are now open concurrently.
Havasu Air Center near Arizona’s Lake Havasu has joined the Avfuel dealer network. The FBO is owned by brothers Dante and Darren Marinelli and features a 5,500-sq-ft terminal building, 100,000-sq-ft hangar and a new weather awning. The terminal building offers pilot snooze rooms and a private lounge plus a movie theater, complimentary coffee, ice and refreshments and concierge service.
In light of the comity that almost turned a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on national parks overflights into a “lovefest” early last month, it is difficult to fathom why it has taken more than 15 years to reach agreement on rules for air tours over such noise-sensitive recreational areas.
Dateline September 1927: Lindbergh is just back from Paris, and being “air-minded” is the thing. Out in the Wild West, World War I Army flier, entrepreneur and promoter J. Parker Van Zandt creates a runway across a northern Arizona meadow at a place called Red Butte, begins building a hangar and prepares to launch the first commercial air tours over the Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon air-tour proponents received yet another blow August 16 when the U.S.
The budding Encore FBO chain added two FBOs, with the May acquisition of Sun Western Flyers at Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport in Bullhead City, Nev., and this month’s opening of a new FBO at Cote d’Azur in Nice, France. This brings Encore’s total to six FBOs–three in the U.S. and three in Europe. At the Nice FBO, Encore is using the Encore Euralair brand name, as it does for its FBO at Le Bourget Airport in Paris.
In 1987 the National Parks Overflights Act mandated substantial restoration of “natural quiet” at Grand Canyon National Park. Seventeen years later, the FAA and the National Park Service (NPS) agreed to resolve the overflight noise issues together.