Public Input Sought on Proposed Air Tour Management Plan for the Smokies

The National Park Service (NPS) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are seeking public feedback on a draft Air Tour Management Plan (ATMP) that is being proposed for Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

The agencies encourage anyone with an interest in or concern about air tours over Great Smoky Mountains National Park to review and comment on the draft ATMP. The proposed plan would authorize up to 946 air tours per year on defined routes. There were on average 946 air tours per year conducted by two air tour operators reported at Great Smoky Mountains National Park from 2017 – 2019. 

The NPS and FAA will host a virtual public meeting regarding the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Tour Management Plan on Thursday, September 16 at 4:30 p.m. that will be live streamed at 

https://youtu.be/BIIt8gzNVVA. Members of the public who wish to observe the virtual meeting can also access the livestream from the following FAA social media platforms on the day of the event, including https://www.facebook.com/FAA, https://twitter.com/FAANews, or https://www.youtube.com/FAAnews

Public feedback can be provided through the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website from Friday, September 3 through Sunday, October 3. The NPS and FAA will consider comments to help inform the final ATMP for Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The project website is available at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/GreatSmokyMountainsATMP

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is among 24 parks of the National Park System developing air tour management plans in cooperation with the FAA. The agencies hope to complete all air tour management plans by the end of August 2022. The schedule is part of a plan approved by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for the agencies to comply with the National Parks Air Tour Management Act of 2000 within two years.   

The FAA and the NPS have determined that each ATMP constitutes a Federal undertaking subject to compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and its implementing regulations (36 CFR Part 800). The FAA and the NPS are consulting with tribes, State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, and other interested parties to identify historic properties and assess the potential effects of ATMPs on them. 

Please visit this NPS site and this FAA site for more detailed information about air tour management plans. Links to meeting notifications, recordings, and slide decks (where applicable) will be posted to the NPS site. 

The 24 parks: 

1. Arches National Park, Utah  

2. Badlands National Park, South Dakota  

3. Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico  

4. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah  

5. Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona  

6. Canyonlands National Park, Utah  

7. Death Valley National Park, California  

8. Everglades National Park, Florida  

9. Glacier National Park, Montana  

10. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area; Arizona, Utah  

11. Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California  

12. Great Smoky Mountains National Park; Tennessee, North Carolina  

13. Haleakalā National Park, Hawai’i  

14. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Hawaiʻi  

15. Lake Mead National Recreation Area; Arizona, Nevada  

16. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington  

17. Muir Woods National Monument, California  

18. Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota  

19. Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah  

20. National Parks of New York Harbor Management Unit; New York, New Jersey  

21. Olympic National Park, Washington  

22. Point Reyes National Seashore, California  

23. Rainbow Bridge National Monument, Utah  

24. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, California  

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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