Senate panel targets park air tour noise
Air traffic noise can be disruptive to visitors to national parks such as Bryce Canyon
February 16, 1999
Web posted at: 2:30 PM EST
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Feb. 12 agreed to address the problem of air traffic noise pollution caused by tours over national parks.
The National Parks and Conservation Association said the legislation, which is part of a bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, is long overdue.
"As air tours become more widespread, keeping the noise from getting out of hand is an emerging concern throughout the National Park System" said NPCA President Thomas Kiernan. "We are encouraged that this Congress is moving quickly to ensure that national parks remain sanctuaries where people can get away from the intrusions of everyday life."
The bill -- which does not include the Grand Canyon or national parks in Alaska -- would allow the National Park Service and the FAA to preserve quiet in parks through flight bans and altitude restrictions.
Similar air tour legislation was ready for passage in the last Congress but died when agreement could not be reached on the entire FAA reauthorization package. The legislation would require the FAA to cooperate with the National Park Service in developing air tour management plans in all parks where the air tour industry has expressed an interest in operating.
The measures are based on a bill introduced last year by U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and a working group including both industry and conservation representatives.
An NPCA/Colorado State University survey conducted in 1998 found that 87 percent of the American public believes that air tours should at least be limited over national parks.
For more information, contact Jerome Uher, NPCA, (202)223-6722, ext. 122.
Copyright 1999, Environmental News Network, All Rights Reserved
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