Air Tour Management Plan
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS), has initiated development of an Air Tour Management Plan (ATMP) and associated Environmental Assessment (EA) for Big Cypress National Preserve (Big Cypress), pursuant to the National Parks Air Tour Management Act of 2000.
An ATMP is being developed to provide measures to mitigate or prevent significant adverse impacts, if any, of commercial air tour operations at Big Cypress, including impacts on natural and cultural resources, visitor experiences, and tribal lands. It should be noted that the ATMP has no authorization over other non-air-tour aircraft such as military and general aviation aircraft.
One air tour operator currently provides commercial air tours over and within ½ mile of Big Cypress. Flights originate out of Everglades Airpark. The operator has the authority to conduct a maximum total of 1260 air tours per year, though in recent years, operations have likely been below this level. While the air tour visitor experience varies depending on weather conditions and the desires of the air tour client, the primary attractions for air tour visitors are viewing wildlife such as alligators and birds, as well as the diverse ecosystems within Big Cypress.
For more information or for any questions, contact:
Outdoor Recreation Planner