8900.1 CHG 22


CHAPTER 9 Air tour management plans

Section 4 Air Tour Management Plans: Part 91 Commercial Air Tour Operators

11-455    APPLICABILITY. The National Parks Air Tour Management Act of 2000 (NPATMA) provides for Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91 commercial air tour operators to conduct limited air tour operations over national parks notwithstanding the air tour management plan (ATMP) process. Part 91 commercial air tour operators are allowed to conduct very limited commercial air tour operations over a given park unit or abutting tribal land. For each National Park unit, the operator must first secure a letter of agreement (LOA) from the National Park Service (NPS) park superintendent and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct such operations under the conditions specified in the LOA.

11-456    LIMITATIONS.

A.    Regulatory Compliance. An LOA may only be issued for commercial air tour operations conducted in accordance with 14 CFR part 119, § 119.1(e)(2) and part 135, § 135.1(a)(5).

B.    Limitations on Operations. In accordance with part 136, § 136.7(g)(3), part 91 commercial air tour operators may conduct commercial air tour operations over a park unit limited to not more than five flights by all part 91 commercial air tour operators in any 30-day period.


A.    For an LOA to be granted, a part 91 commercial air tour operator must submit a written LOA application letter to the Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) whose boundaries include the requested park unit(s). The application letter must include the following:

·    Company name, mailing address, responsible party, and phone numbers;

·    Address of the principal base where operations will be conducted;

·    Proposed startup date;

·    Number of flights proposed each 30‑day period per park unit(s);

·    Number and type of aircraft to be used; and

·    National park, tribal land, or geographic area of intended operations.

B.    The FSDO will consult with the Flight Standards Western Pacific Region (AWP‑200) regarding any safety evaluations that may be needed prior to issuing the LOA.

11-458    LETTER OF AGREEMENT. After coordinating with the park superintendent, obtaining a copy of the NPS LOA from the applicant for each National Park Unit requested, coordinating with AWP‑200, and completing any safety review, the FSDO may issue a LOA template B057 to the operator from the Automated Operations Safety System (OPSS).

NOTE:   In coordinating an LOA with the NPS for each park unit requested, an LOA must be secured from each park superintendent stating any conditions applicable to the proposed air tour operations. This letter will then be attached to each operator’s FAA LOA and constitute the NPS’s signature authorization. The FSDO must retain copies of each NPS LOA in the operators’ permanent file and send copies of all LOAs to AWP‑200.

A.    Contents. The LOA will contain the following items, as applicable:

·    Name and operating address of the operator,

·    Number of commercial air tour operations authorized for that operator in any 30-day period,

·    Any limitations or conditions needed for safety,

·    Any limitations or conditions required by the park superintendent (must be an attached letter), and

·    Notice that the LOA is not a property interest, but rather an operating privilege that can be modified or revoked by the FAA.

B.    Issuance and Distribution. LOAs may be issued when all requirements and coordination approvals have been met and amended as needed. A copy of each LOA will be sent to AWP‑200 and the Western-Pacific Executive Resource Staff, AWP‑4.

RESERVED. Paragraphs 11‑459 through 11‑473.