Grand Canyon Helicopters

Grand Canyon Airport is where all rim-to-rim helicopter tours over the National Park originate. Located in Tusayan, AZ, the airfield (GCN) is just 10 minutes from all South Rim in-park lodging like El Tovar & Maswick Lodge.

The Grand Canyon National Park Airport - Past, Present and Future

grand canyon airportThe Grand Canyon National Park airport is a national public-use airport located in Tusayan, Arizona, two miles from the park entrance and seven miles or 11 kilometers from the South Rim. It is a part of Arizona Department of Transportation and serves as the main point of access for all air tours that fly over the Park.

The airport is mainly used for charter flights and scenic tours. The primary helicopter operators here are Papillon Helicopters, Maverick Helicopters and Grand Canyon Helicopters. Tightly regulated airspace means that helicopters are banned from flying below the rim. The typical flight goes rim-to-rim. Upgrades include flying in an EcoStar 130 and increasing the amount of airtime.

The major airplane tour companies departing the South Rim airport are Grand Canyon Airlines, Scenic Airways and Vision Airlines. The standard airplane tour flies over the Kaibab Plateau before heading east along the South Rim. It's not until the Colorado River confluence that aircraft bear north and follow the North Rim back to Grand Canyon Village before beginning their descent.

The origin of Grand Canyon Airport started back in 1925 when the U.S. Forest Service approved construction of a landing strip amid the ponderosa pine of the Kaibab Plateau. Construction on a new terminal was started on Oct. 1965 and was completed on Oct. 1967. On June 16, 2010, work was completed on the aircraft rescue and fire fighting facility maintenance building. This structure also received accolades for its commitment to sustainable architecture.

$339 $299 South Rim Helicopter
$145 $124 South Rim Airplane
$489 $434 Las Vegas - SR Plane & Heli
Helicopter is a 30-minute rim-to-rim flight. Airplane does all rims in 50 mins. Las Vegas airplane tour is the fastest way to the South Rim (45 minutes). Go here for all South Rim helicopter rides.

Today, Arizona transportation officials are proposing a much bigger terminal for Grand Canyon National Airport. This one would be built to accommodate big, commercial jet liners, primarily by meeting security and baggage requirements. Officials predict that the project could increase par visitation by 1 million. Retail stores and restaurants are also part of the mix. The expansion would cost $10 million and take five years.

The existing airport covers an area of 348 hectares or 859 acres at an elevation of 2,014 meters or 6,609 feet above the sea level. It has also a single runway designated 3/21 with 9000 feet by 150 feet of asphalt surface. In addition, the runway has the capability to support aircraft with a weight capacity of 88.0 in single wheel, 108.0 in double wheel, and 160.0 in double tandem.

In 2010, the airport handled more than 300,000 passengers, most of whom took aerial tours of the canyon aboard smaller aircraft like the Vistaliner, a 17-seat aircraft that features oversized viewing windows, plush seats and a spacious cabin. In 2008, small-aircraft tours made up 95 percent of all air traffic at GCN.

Travel On!

P.S. Plenty of air tours from which to choose. Read these helicopter reviews and find the trip that's perfect for you.