New regulations set for flying near national monuments in the US


Well-known member
Oct 30, 2023
If you plan to take an air tour or fly near national parks, monuments or other such things within the US, you may be limited due to new regulations on air tours. Starting April 2024, all flights will be banned from being within a half mile away from said sites. These regulations will affect tours near national parks, especially at locations like Mount Rushmore and the Badlands National Park.

The National Park Service and the Federal Aviation Administration failed to enforce the original law back in 2000, which governed commercial air tours over parks and tribal lands. The new regulations are in response to exactly that.

There is of course the usual pushback from tour operators who are worried that this will have a serious impact on their businesses. Some are threatening litigation while others are attempting to keep going amid the new rules and regulations. But the main reason for these regulations is to protect parks, and deal down the noise disruption caused by air tours. And if you were at a national park, I'm sure you wouldn't want to hear helicopters flying about the whole time.

I realize some people aren't able to see these monuments normally and air tours help with that, but maybe there's an alternative where tours can go closer on certain days or at certain hours. But until then, these are the rules we all have to follow.

For a more detailed take on this news, follow the article here - Fox 5 San Diego.
United States
I think it's mostly to do with the noise pollution issue. I think it's more of an issue at parks and places where you are kind of expected to have a relaxing time. If happening at somewhere like Mount Rushmore, I don't see it bugging me much, as I would rather see it up close too via a helicopter.

But, we also should consider the pollution some of these helicopters put off in national parks. That itself could be another issue.
The new regulations on air tours near national parks aim to protect the sites and minimize noise disruption. While tour operators are concerned about the impact on their businesses, the rules are necessary for conservation. Finding alternatives or designated tour times could be a potential solution in the future.
I've visited a few over the years, and I only remember seeing one helicopter tour company. I'm surprised that drones haven't become a bigger threat than those vehicles carrying passengers near the monuments. I could see tourists using a drone to get the perfect snap.
The move to implement new regulations restricting air tours near national parks, monuments, and other significant sites appears to be a positive step. The aim behind these regulations is clear: to protect the tranquility of national parks and minimize the noise disruption caused by air tours. We need more stricter rules to protect our natural and cultural sites.