Aviation in Your National Parks

Did you know the National Park Service uses aviation for many purposes on a daily basis? And that the NPS has a history steeped in aviation…from preserving and protecting some of our most important historical sites focused on aviation to historic aviation "firsts" in the United States? Explore this website and learn more about the rich history and use of aviation in your national parks.

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Aviation History

Explore aviation history as it relates to the NPS. From the people to the places, these incredible stories are aviation's foundation.

The space shuttle lifts off of the back of a large plane

Aviation in Space

From the moment man first flew, there was no stopping the ascent into the universe. Read the amazing stories that powered man into space.

Four parallel runways surrounded by water

Historic Fields and Airports

Read about the legacies of historic airfields and airports and of their significance in aviation history.

Pilot with his plane on a gravel runway

A Day in NPS Aviation Operations

Each day is different. A NPS crew could assist with a wildland fire, a trail project, search and rescue or a law enforcement operation.

A trio of missiles stand upright and ready to fire from concrete pads

Rocket Propulsion

Read the stories of how rocket propulsion has taken aviation into and well beyond the upper levels of the atmosphere.

A silver plane with a red tail and elevator

Military Aircraft

Learn about some of the different military aircraft that have served the United States Army Air Corps, Air Force, Navy and Marines.

A helicopter sits on the ground during a dramatic sunset

NPS Aviation Program

Learn more about the programmatic aspects of the National Park Service Aviation Program.

Several people in blue and yellow shirts listen to a man talking to them in front of a white trailer

Aviation Resources

Explore some of the important resources that assist NPS aviation in accomplishing its mission.

A white, yellow and black helicopter in flight

Aviation Information

View some of the important and valuable information links that help NPS aviation carry out its mission.

A crew member wearing a helmet peers out of a helicopter down on a mountain

Aviation Policy

Policy, regulations and guidelines are staples of NPS aviation operations on a daily basis. Learn more about them here.

Four people help load an airplane with cargo

Aviation Planning

From daily operational missions to long-term strategic guidance, planning is crucial to the NPS aviation mission.

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Incident Support & Coordination Centers

Valuable tools for incident management, whether for aviation or another large-scale incident.

Helicopter with large clouds of smoke in the background

Wildland Fire Support

NPS aviation is integral to wildland firefighting. Aircraft deliver water, move firefighters and provide eyes in the sky.

A man holds the controls for a stationary UAS while another man stand nearby.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

Learn how NPS is using UAS to decrease risks on operational missions, reduce costs and provide additional aviation resources.

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Training & Education

Education resources for aviation-related missions.

A helicopter hovers overhead with four blades

Safety Information & News

Up-to-date information and news from reliable and trusted sources for aviation-related missions.

A chalk-outlined plane on a small chalk board

Discover Aviation

Whether you're an educator or just have a novice interest in aviation, our education resources have the info you need.

pilot prepping for flight

Aviation Educator Resources

A broad variety of resources containing aviation education information and membership organizations from both private and public entities.

Pilot preparing an external load at Cedar Grove

Types of Aviation Jobs

Seasonal and full-time positions with the NPS that relate to aviation and their basic duties and qualifications.

A helicopter crew member stands in the foreground with two other people and a helicopter in the back

NPS Aviation Careers

Interested in a career in aviation with the National Park Service? Learn more about what it takes and available jobs.

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Online Tools & Databases

Some of the more important tools and guidance that we use to help us carry out our mission.

A wooden gavel sits on a desk and small round base

Laws, Procedures & Manuals

The legal references and regulations that govern aviation management and incidents.

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State & Federal Government

Links to various state and federal agencies that support the NPS aviation mission.