19-Mar-2013 Source: HAI
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued guidance for a new data collection activity and reporting requirement to all Part 135 and Part 91 commercial air tour operators who conduct commercial air tour flights over or within one-half mile of the boundary of any unit of the National Park Service (NPS) and any abutting tribal lands.
These collection and reporting requirements do not apply to operators conducting air tour flights over the Grand Canyon and park units in Alaska. In addition, national park units that have 50 or fewer commercial air tour operations each year are exempted from the requirements. A separate annual reporting requirement for air tour operators conducting commercial air tour operations over exempt parks has been established.
Operators conducting commercial air tour operations over a national park unit under interim operating authority (IOA) or in accordance with an air tour management plan (ATMP) or a voluntary agreement are required to submit a report to both the FAA and NPS regarding the number of commercial air tour operations over each national park that are conducted by the operator and such other information as the FAA and NPS may request. Most air tour operators should have already received information on implementing this requirement from their POIs and FSDOs. All HAI members are strongly encouraged to carefully review the reporting guidance issued by the FAA.
Operators who are required to submit reports of air tour operations on a quarterly basis should be mindful that the first quarter began Jan. 1, 2013, and will end on March 31, 2013. This means that the first report is due April 30, 2013. Quarterly reports are due no later than 30 days after the close of each reporting period.
HAI is particularly concerned about the regulatory burden this new reporting requirement may impose on the air tour industry. Once operators have compiled and reported the necessary data for the first quarter of 2013, they are strongly encouraged to relay information concerning the amount of time consumed by this collection and reporting activity to HAI’s vice president for legislative affairs, Ann Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please direct any other questions or concerns about this issue to Ms. Carroll as well.