Senator John McCain's (R-AZ) deal will help ensure that tour flight operators have continued access to the Grand Canyon. It also gives the National Park Service leeway to develop its own regulations. Attached as an amendment to transportation legislation, McCain called the deal "a major step forward."
The amendment allows the Park Service some freedom in regulating the quantity, location, and time of day in which tour flights can operate. Some critics of the deal think that’s not enough.
But McCain disagrees. He said, “The environmentalists have taken this to a whole new realm that was never congressional intent.”
Conservationists would like to see the Park Service given more control over not only tour flights, but also larger high-altitude commercial aircraft around the Canyon.