By Chuck Raasch, USA TODAY
Even the park superintendent says the plan doesn’t go far enough to protect Grand Canyon’s “soundscapes.” Air-tour operators say it will hurt their business.
The plan would limit the number of flights, hours and routes that tour operators could fly over the 277-mile-long park. It also requires quieter planes and helicopters, a conversion air-tour operators such as Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters say they’ve already begun.
“It is the best plan the park service could get given the conditions we have to deal with,” says Grand Canyon park Superintendent David Uberuaga, referring to opposition from tour operators and what he called the Federal Aviation Administration‘s attempts to “delay” and “sidetrack” the plan. But it is not, he says, enough to restore “natural quiet” to one of the world’s natural wonders.