Speak Up on Grand Canyon Overflights Noise

The comment deadline is Monday, June 20, 2011, for you to voice your concern for the protection of Natural Quiet at Grand Canyon National Park.

River Runners for Wilderness encourages you to take a few minutes to protect our iconic Grand Canyon National Park. Your brief note explaining how the park’s Natural Quiet is important to you will help the National Park Service (NPS) do the right thing. In your own words, you might tell the NPS:

- Our National Parks were created to protect natural resources, including natural quiet.  The parks were not created to promote commercial industries that adversely impact visitor experience of the Park’s natural resources.

- Do not allow an increase in Overflights. To do so will take away the Park’s ability to allow the public to hear natural quiet, an endangered resource in today’s increasingly noisy world.

- Decrease the number of Overflights to 1987 levels when the National Parks Overflights Act was passed, which recognizes there was a loss of Natural Quiet at Grand Canyon even at 1987 flight levels. 

- While the south side of the Colorado River at Quartermaster Canyon becomes Helicopter Hell, the run-away increase in helicopter traffic in this area must stay on the south side of the Colorado River. Helicopters in this area must not fly over or north of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park airspace.

- Keep flights well above the rims at all times, flying 500 feet above the highest land elevation on the entire flight except for take-off and landing.

- Encourage the NPS to increase the curfews (sunrise to first flight, and last flight to sundown) from the present times of as little as 14 minutes to two hours after sunrise and two hours before sunset.

River runners and backpackers, rim visitors and all those who find natural quiet in Grand Canyon to be a valuable resource will need to counter the air tour industry’s push for 8,000 more intrusive, noisy rides per year.  There are several ways to comment:

The EIS can be reviewed at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/grca by clicking on “Open for Comment” and then clicking on the special Flight Rules item for the Grand Canyon.  This page lists the documents and provides a “Comment on Document” button.

Or, you can mail comments to:

Office of Planning and Compliance

Grand Canyon National Park, PO Box 129, Grand Canyon, AZ  86023