Commercial Use Authorizations

Woman kayaking through icy Alaskan waters
A kayaker maintains a safe distance while navigating the icy waters in front of Bear Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park.

NPS Photo/Fiona Ritter-Davis

Section 418 of the National Parks Omnibus Management Act of 1998, Public Law 105-391, authorizes the National Park Service to issue Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs) to persons (referring to individuals, corporations, and other entities) to provide commercial services to park area visitors in limited circumstances. CUAs provide a means to authorize suitable commercial services to visitors in park areas. The CUA is used to provide for incidental use of park area resources by operators who provide commercial services originating and terminating outside of the park area (Out-of-Park-Services). The term of a CUA may not exceed two years and no preferential right of renewal or similar provisions for renewal may be provided.

CUA Program Updates & Fee Changes

Visit CUA Program Updates for park-specific program announcements, updates, and fee changes.

Online CUA Application System

NPS is excited to announce the development of an online CUA system designed to standardize, modernize, and streamline the CUA application process. The system allows potential CUA applicants and CUA holders to view all available CUA opportunities, apply for CUAs, submit required CUA reports (Annual Report Form 10-660), and pay CUA fees. (See notification letter for details specific to Interior Region 11 - Alaska.)

Beginning in the 2025 season, CUA applicants must use the online system to apply for a CUA in Interior Region 11 - Alaska park units.

Application Period - November 1st through April 30th

Attention: The National Park Service, Alaska Region has established a specific time period for submitting applications for Commercial Use Authorizations (see NPS Memo for details).

A fully completed application package including fee payment, and other required documentation must be received or postmarked by the April 30th deadline. Applications received or postmarked after April 30th and will not be accepted. Rare exceptions may be made if there are extenuating circumstances involved or if the application is to provide an approved service not currently offered by other commercial operators. Any request for a waiver based upon extenuating circumstances must be submitted in writing and approved by the park Superintendent(s).

You may apply for either a one- or two-year CUA for all park units in Interior Region 11 - Alaska with the exception of Denali, Glacier Bay, Lake Clark, and Wrangell-St.Elias.
a) CUA applications for Denali must be submitted directly to Denali beginning November 1, 2017. More information and application materials are available on the Denali CUA Website.
b) CUA applications for Glacier Bay must be submitted directly to Glacier Bay beginning November 1, 2018. More information and application materials are available on the Glacier Bay CUA Website.
c) In 2024, CUAs at Crescent Lake in Lake Clark will only be issued for one-year; all other commercial activities in Lake Clark may be permitted for one or two-years.
d) Air Taxi CUAs in Wrangell-St.Elias are only issued for one-year; all other commercial activities in Wrangell may be permitted for one or two-years.

Application Forms, Instructions & Resources

  • Stipulations for Operating Under a CUA - Commercial Use Authorizations are subject to permit conditions/stipulations. Review the National, Regional, and Park-specific conditions for operating under a CUA.

  • Commercial Use Authorization Application (Fillable PDF Form)

    • 2024 - 2025 CUA Application

    • The application includes the following content areas: application instructions, approved activities, commercial group size limits, fee schedules, payment instructions, insurance requirements, and park-specific supplemental requirements.

    • Submit completed CUA applications with all supporting documentation to

CUA Reporting

Each permit year, CUA holders are required to submit two types of reports, the Annual Report (Form 10-660) and Activity Reports for each park unit in which the holder was authorized to operate. Beginning with the 2023 season, CUA holders in Alaska will use the online Visitor Use Reporting system (VURn) to submit Activity Report information as required by CUA permit conditions.

Visit the CUA Reporting webpage to access the online system, user guides, visitor use area maps, and more.

Laws, Regulations, Policies

Doing Business with the Parks

Please visit the individual park websites below for more information about operating in the National Parks.

Last updated: April 2, 2024