News Release

Public input needed on potential alternatives for the draft air tour management plan for Mount Rushmore National Memorial

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Date: September 6, 2022
Contact: Sara Melena, 970-225-3525

KEYSTONE, SD - The National Park Service (NPS) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are seeking public comments on potential alternatives for an air tour management plan (ATMP) for Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Public comments will be accepted during a 30-day public scoping process starting September 6 through October 6. 

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is one of 24 parks of the National Park System developing air tour management plans in cooperation with the FAA. Each air tour management plan is developed to allow air tours to be managed in a way that is consistent with the NPS’s mission and the FAA’s authority to ensure flight safety. Plans will meet the requirements of the National Parks Air Tour Management Act to mitigate or prevent significant adverse impacts from commercial air tours on the park and NPS’s obligation to protect the park's natural and cultural resources, wildlife, and visitor enjoyment.

Commercial air tours have occurred over Mount Rushmore National Memorial for many years without defined operating parameters. The potential alternatives for Mount Rushmore National Memorial include no change from current conditions, a daily limit of 25 air tours with additional modifications, a daily limit of 13 air tours with additional modifications, and prohibiting air tours over or within a half-mile of the park.

The public can comment through the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website for Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Please visit PEPC Air Tour Management Plan. The site has information about air tour management at Mount Rushmore National Memorial including a scoping newsletter with the draft alternatives. The NPS and FAA will consider comments submitted during this scoping period as they develop the draft ATMP. 

The agencies encourage anyone with an interest in or concern about air tours over Mount Rushmore National Memorial to review and comment on the potential alternatives, which will be evaluated in an upcoming environmental assessment for the park’s ATMP. 

Incorporating input from Tribal nations and individuals is an important part of this planning process. The agencies are consulting with Tribes to whom park resources have historic and cultural significance. 

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.



Last updated: September 6, 2022

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