LAS VEGAS -- New Federal Aviation Administration regulations
covering flights over the Grand Canyon will not impact Scenic
Airlines, which plans to expand operations next year, according to
a company spokesman.
"We've been making necessary changes for the past three years,"
a spokesman for Scenic Airlines said.
Scenic, based here, has spent $500,000 on each of its Twin Otter
aircraft to comply with new rules on "quiet technology."
Because of fears of overcrowded skies above the Grand Canyon,
the FAA is allocating fewer new routes to some carriers and
reducing some flight times.
But the Scenic spokesman said the new rulings -- some of which
will go into effect in December -- will cut back the firm's flying
tours over the Grand Canyon, currently timed at more than an hour,
by only a few minutes.
The company, which has about two dozen helicopters and
fixed-wing planes and handles about 500,000 people per year, will
announce new package tours before the end of the year.
The spokesman would not elaborate on details, but said the tours
would involve river rafting in the area.
He said the tours would include both smooth white-water rafting
and more adventure routes as well.
"We'll also be designing some special commission structures that
will be announced soon," the spokesman said.
Scenic pays agent commissions of 10% and up to 30% for groups,
In addition to providing a variety of air services to the Grand
Canyon and Monument Valley in Arizona and Bryce Canyon in Utah from
Las Vegas, Scenic, with its travel partners, offers luxury
motorcoach services from Los Angeles and Anaheim, Calif.
The company -- which has been in business for more than 30 years
-- has its headquarters at North Las Vegas Airport.