News Release

National Park Service Completes Mount Rushmore National Memorial Air Tour Management Plan  

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Date: November 17, 2023
Contact: Earl Perez-Foust, 605-574-3115

KEYSTONE, S.D. – The National Park Service (NPS) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) completed an air tour management plan for Mount Rushmore National Memorial on November 17, 2023. The plan will prohibit commercial air tours over the park and within one-half mile of the boundary of the park to protect the park’s natural and cultural resources, Tribal sacred sites and ceremonial areas, and visitor experience within the ATMP boundary. The plan’s operating parameters will be effective within 180 days from the date of signature.  
The newly completed plan was developed in cooperation with stakeholders representing a variety of interests, including Tribal Nations, other land management agencies, the public, and recreation groups. The plan addresses and responds to concerns identified during these consultations and through public comment.  
“We appreciate the engagement of the many stakeholders that worked with us on the development of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Air Tour Management Plan.  Prohibiting commercial air tours will protect the cultural and spiritual significance of these lands to Tribes and will provide a peaceful setting for visitors to enjoy and experience,” said Michelle Wheatley, the park’s superintendent.    
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is one of the parks in the National Park System for which the agencies are developing an air tour management plan or voluntary agreement. Each air tour management plan is developed to manage commercial air tours in a way that is consistent with the NPS’s mission, the individual park’s purposes, and the FAA’s authority to ensure aviation safety.   
The plans meet the requirements from the National Parks Air Tour Management Act to reduce or prevent significant adverse impacts from commercial air tours on the park and meet NPS’s obligation to protect the park's natural and cultural resources, wildlife, and provide for the enjoyment of visitors.   
The final air tour management plan is available at the Planning, Environment & Public Comment (PEPC) website. Please visit NPS Air Tours and FAA’s Air Tour Management Plan site for more detailed information about air tour management plans.  

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s more than 400 national park units and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

Last updated: December 8, 2023

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