BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT NEWS RELEASE
The National Park Service (NPS) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are extending the public comment period on the draft Air Tour Management Plan (ATMP) proposed for Bandelier National Monument. Due to an error recently discovered on the project’s Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) home page, the comment period has been extended through October 13, 2021, to allow ample time to review materials.
The error resulted in the inclusion of one sentence referencing another national park unrelated to Bandelier National Monument. The following unrelated sentence should not have been included: “The ATMP is consistent with the Park’s 1999 General Management Plan and subsequent planning efforts in that it includes a provision on phasing out air tours through attrition.” This sentence has been appropriately removed. The statement only applies to Glacier National Park and refers to the Glacier 1999 General Management Plan. It was erroneously included on the Bandelier National Monument ATMP PEPC page but is not included in, or relevant to, the ATMP for Bandelier National Monument. The original September 10, 2021 press release describing the process and the alternatives outlined in the draft ATMP document for which comments are requested remains accurate. No additional changes or updates were made to the materials.
The agencies encourage anyone with an interest in or concern about air tours over Bandelier National Monument to review and comment on the draft ATMP. The proposed plan would authorize up to 101 commercial air tours per year on defined routes. There were on average 101 air tours per year conducted by one air tour operator reported at Bandelier National Monument from 2017 – 2019.
Public feedback can be provided through the PEPC website through Wednesday, October 13, 2021. The NPS and FAA will consider comments to help inform the final ATMP for Bandelier National Monument. The project website is available at: Parkplanning – Bandelier Air Tour Management Plan (nps.gov)
The FAA and the NPS have determined that the ATMP constitutes a Federal undertaking subject to compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and its implementing regulations (36 CFR Part 800). The FAA and the NPS will continue consultations with Tribes, State and Tribal Historical Preservation Officers, and other interested parties to identify historic sites and assess the potential effects of ATMPs on them. There is no deadline for these ongoing consultations.