Seeking peace and quiet in the Grand Canyon? This'll help: as of January 1, the park will begin offer discounts to any licensed sightseeing operators that employ noise-reduction technology on their aircraft.
The Wichita Eaglereports that any tour companies that comply with certain FAA noise certification standards will receive a $5 discount on every flight. The subsidies stand to benefit both the companies and hikers immensely:
“Any kind of a reduction from noise is going to provide a better experience for park visitors,” said park spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge. “It’s not quiet but it’s quieter than the standard technology.”
The FAA determines whether aircraft is considered quiet using a formula that takes into account noise certification levels and number of seats. About 60 percent of the aircraft conducting tours at the Grand Canyon already meet that standard, Oltrogge said. At full conversion, the reduced fee would save the operators $250,000 a year, she said.
Read more: Wichita Eagle