DEATH VALLEY, CA – The National Park Service (NPS) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are seeking public feedback on a draft Air Tour Management Plan (ATMP) for Death Valley National Park. This plan would apply only to commercial sightseeing flights, not to personal pilots or military aircraft.
“Death Valley National Park, at over 90% Wilderness, is a great place to come to experience natural quiet and solitude while hiking or camping. While commercial air tours are in conflict with those values, limiting it to just two per year allows for a diversity of recreation including flightseeing, while still protecting the experiences of the nearly two million visitors per year who come to Death Valley National Park.”
The proposed plan would authorize up to two commercial air tours per year. Helicopter air tours would be allowed above 1,000 feet above ground level (AGL). Air tours in airplanes would be allowed above 1,500 feet AGL. Air tours would be limited to seven flight routes, all of which avoid flying within a mile of especially sensitive locations, such as Timbisha Village and Scotty’s Castle.
Public feedback can be provided parkplanning.nps.gov/DeathValleyATMP from July 29 through August 28, 2021. There will be a virtual public meeting on Tuesday, August 17 from 4:30 to 6:00 pm (Pacific) and can be lived streamed at https://youtu.be/mqWiaVorP3Y.
Death Valley National Park (and certain other parks) are required to establish an air tour management plan by the National Park Air Tour Management Act. More background information can be found at nps.gov/subjects/sound/airtours.htm.
Death Valley National Park is the homeland of the Timbisha Shoshone and preserves natural resources, cultural resources, exceptional wilderness, scenery, and learning experiences within the nation’s largest conserved desert landscape and some of the most extreme climate and topographic conditions on the planet. Learn more at www.nps.gov/deva.