CONGRESSIONAL AMENDMENT TO GIVE THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE DOMINATION IN RESOLVING OVERFLIGHT DEBATES IS A BAD IDEA

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ARTICLE: GA Caucus hits NPS air-tour regulation

AOPA NPS FAA

As noted by AOPA, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has introduced a rider to S.1813, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. His provision would grant to the National Park Service, according the Congressional GA Caucus,

“unprecedented authority to the NPS to regulate air tour operators and the airspace over national parks and tribal lands. This is a step backward in aviation safety and should be rejected in any surface transportation conference agreement.”

The FAA and the NPS have different missions and their views of flying over parks diverge. Such tension is not that unusual among federal agencies in a variety of similar contrary positions. There are many examples of how these conflicts are successfully resolved, because each government agency respects each other and their respective jurisdictions. It is not always a comfortable process, but compromise is rarely a walk in the park.

Dialogue is a forum in which the agencies debate their perspectives, acknowledge the validity of their points and resolve them as a reasoned compromise. NPS is well acquainted with this approach; its Directors, Park Rangers and lawyers are skilled in the negotiations.

Good point AOPA è the Congressional GA Caucus is correct in urging the conferees to reject Sen. Alexander’s amendment. Tilting the balance between NPS and FAA will assure that the NPS’ perspective will prevail.

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