Bryce Canyon National Park air tour management plan to allow 515 trips per year
BRYCE, UT – The National Park Service (NPS) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have completed an air tour management plan for Bryce Canyon National Park.
The plan establishes measures to protect park resources including natural resources, preservation of wilderness character, and visitor experience.
“The purpose of the air tour management plan is to protect tangible and intangible resources of Bryce Canyon, including natural sounds, wildlife, wilderness character, and visitor experiences of solitude and quiet as we allow visitors reasonable opportunities to experience these magnificent landscapes from the air,” said Jim Ireland, the park’s superintendent.
Commercial air tours have occurred over Bryce Canyon for many years without defined operating parameters. The air tour management plan protects national park resources and values by providing continued education and management oversight.
The plan authorizes up to 515 air tours per year on defined routes conducted over the park and up to ½-mile outside the boundary. There were on average 515 air tours per year reported over Bryce Canyon National Park from 2017 – 2019.
The operating parameters of the plan will be effective within 90 days from the date of signature on the air tour management plan.
Bryce Canyon is among 24 parks in the National Park System for which the agencies are developing air tour management plans or voluntary agreements. Each air tour management plan or agreement is developed to allow air tours to be managed in a way that is consistent with the NPS’s mission and the FAA’s authority to ensure flight safety.
The plan meets the requirements from the National Parks Air Tour Management Act to mitigate or prevent significant adverse impacts from commercial air tours on the park and NPS’s obligation to protect the park's natural and cultural resources, wildlife, and the visitor enjoyment.
An important part of the process has been the inclusion of American Indian Tribes. The agencies consulted with Tribes that have tribal lands within or adjacent to Bryce Canyon, and with Tribes that attach historic and cultural significance to resources within the park.
The final air tour management plan is available at parkplanning.nps.gov/parks.cfm.
Information provided by the National Park Service.