“In another area, the FAA, by court order, is reigniting its joint effort with the National Park Service to develop air tour management plans (ATMPs) over 23 national parks. This is an issue that literally spans decades when Native American communities, environmentalists, the Departments of Interior and Transportation, and air tour operators were all grappling with how to balance environmental concerns associated with national parks and the benefits of air tour operations.
No formal plans were ever put in place, but voluntary agreements had been reached for four parks. Losing patience with the seeming inertia on the issue, the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and the Hawaii Coalition Malama Ponsin took the issue to court to get seven more plans or agreements in place. As a result, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in May gave the FAA and the NPS 120 days to file a plan to bring all 23 parks into compliance within two years or have concrete reasons why it would take longer. The agencies submitted that plan in late August.”