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Sun, Aug. 09

Overflight meeting set in Flagstaff<br>

The National Parks Overflights Act of 1987 (Public Law 100-91) requires actions by the DOI/NPS and FAA to provide for substantial restoration of the natural quiet of the park and for protection of public health and safety from adverse effects associated with aircraft overflights. Previous efforts to achieve this mandate have been challenging – both technically, in terms of developing new analytical noise capabilities, and practically, in terms of generating broad support for the specific means of accomplishing substantial restoration of natural quiet.

The DOI/NPS and FAA recognize that the best means of crafting viable solutions for resolving the complexities of restoring natural quiet is through the collaborative involvement of stakeholders. This meeting will provide information about the current status of the agencies’ efforts to implement Public Law 100-91 and initiate the design of a stakeholder involvement process.

A team of third-party, neutral facilitators will present a proposed plan for gaining additional insights into stakeholders’ concerns, before developing a specific design for the involvement process. This meeting will not focus on in-depth discussion of different stakeholder perspectives about restoration of natural quiet and overflight noise. Rather, these substantive issues will be addressed later in the proposed stakeholder process.

The DOI/NPS and FAA have engaged the independent and impartial services of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution (U.S. Institute) to facilitate interagency collaboration with effective and meaningful stakeholder involvement. The U.S. Institute is a federal program established in 1998 by the U.S. Congress to assist parties in resolving environmental, natural resource and public lands conflicts. It is a program of the Morris K. Udall Foundation, based in Tucson.

DOI/NPS and FAA has established the necessary groundwork to begin this new phase of constructively engaging stakeholders. At the meeting, they will review the status and methodologies of their joint evaluation of current Grand Canyon aircraft operations and noise, describe the U.S. Institute’s role in providing impartial process design and facilitation assistance, and discuss how to proceed with a multi-stakeholder conflict resolution process.

For more information, contact Karen Trevino, Manager of Natural Sounds Program, National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colo., at 970-225-3563 or karen_trevino@nps.gov and Lynne Pickard, Senior Advisor for Environmental Policy, Federal Aviation Administration, Washington, D.C. at 202-267-3576 or lynne.packard@faa.gov.

For more information about the U.S. Institute, call 520-670-5299 or visit www.ecr.gov.

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