Mission Critical Administrative Aviation Plan for Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park » Mission Critical Administrative Aviation Plan for Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park » Document List

Hawai'i Volcanoes has prepared the Mission Critical Administrative Aviation Plan and Environmental Assessment (plan/EA) to provide a decision-making framework for managing the administrative use of aviation over the park. The purpose of the plan/EA is to provide for operational use of aviation by the park staff and cooperating agencies in a safe, timely, and efficient manner while avoiding or minimizing impacts to the park's natural and cultural resources, soundscapes, wilderness, and visitor experience.

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park (Hawai'i Volcanoes) is a 330,000 acre park which includes two of the most active volcanoes in the world, unique native species and ecosystems, and the evidence of 700 years of human occupation. The park includes rift zones and the summits of Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, a native flowering plant flora, insect and bird fauna, ninety percent of which are found native nowhere else in the world, and archeological remains of Hawaiian settlement and numerous historic structures. National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and other cooperating agencies use helicopters approximately 250 hours per year over the park to respond to eruptive activity, monitor and study Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, control invasive species, recover rare species, restore degraded ecosystems, protect cultural resources, and conduct wildland fire, search and rescue, and law enforcement operations.

The scope of the EA is the administrative use of aviation by NPS staff and cooperating agencies. The scope does not include management of commercial air tours, general aviation, or military overflights. Commercial air tours over the park are being addressed through a separate planning process to develop an Air Tour Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (ATMP/EIS). The lead agency for the ATMP/EIS is the Federal Aviation Administration and Hawai'i Volcanoes is a cooperator.

Under the preferred alternative, aviation would be used for the health and safety of visitors, employees, and island residents and for park resource protection and restoration activities. Under this plan, formal best management practices (BMPs), area closures, and flight restrictions would be instituted to minimize impacts to park resources, soundscapes, wilderness, visitors, and adjoining landowners.

The Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) can be found under the Document List link.

Contact Information

Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park
P.O. Box 52
Hawai'i National Park, HI 96718