U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) is issuing the following statement commending the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) decision to allow 1,721 additional Grand Canyon flights per year utilizing quiet technology:
“I was thrilled to learn that the FAA has allowed additional quiet flights over the Grand Canyon. This commonsense decision will create good-paying jobs and boost economic activity in an extremely rural area.
“By recognizing quiet flight technology improvements, the FAA has given us an example of a federal agency using evidence-based decision-making. Now, more of Arizona’s visitors get to experience the beauty of this natural treasure through unique aerial tours. As a result of the FAA’s decision, we are accomplishing two important goals: keeping noise in the Canyon to a minimum while growing this critical sector of our economy.”
The air tour and tourism industries at the Grand Canyon are critical to Arizona’s economy. In 2011, tourism at the Grand Canyon helped sustain more than 300,000 jobs. The air tour industry around this historic landmark supported 1,250 good-paying jobs in Arizona and Nevada during that same timeframe.
Rep. Gosar played a critical role in the FAA’s decision to allow additional quiet flights at Grand Canyon National Park because his bill was enacted into law.
In the 112th Congress, Rep. Gosar, introduced bipartisan standalone legislation, the Grand Canyon Tourism Jobs Protection Act of 2012 (H.R.4198), to protect tourism jobs and preserve natural quiet at the Grand Canyon National Park.
The provisions of H.R.4198 were ultimately codified into public law through Section 35001 of H.R.4348, also known as MAP-21.
Prior to this legislative victory, Rep. Gosar raised awareness of this issue through a series of letters, including:
In February 2011, Rep. Gosar and five of his colleagues sent a bipartisan letter to House Transportation Conferees asking them to codify the definition of natural quiet for the Grand Canyon.
In June 2011, Rep. Gosar and seven of his colleagues sent a bipartisan letter commenting on the National Park Service’s draft Environmental Impact Statement for flight rules over the Grand Canyon.
In March 2012, Rep. Gosar and five of his colleagues sent a bipartisan letter to then Secretary of Interior Salazar containing comments and a series of specific questions about the future of aerial tours and natural quiet technology at the park.