For a bird’s eye of of the Grand Canyon, check out Grand Canyon Scenic Airlines (www.scenic.com), who offers accessible flightseeing excursions over the popular national park in a fixed-wing aircraft. The 45-minute flights depart from the Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan, and include views of the Zuni Corridor, Imperial Point, the Confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers, Kaibab National Forest and Kaibab Plateau. It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and thanks to the efforts of Grand Canyon Scenic Airlines, many wheelchair-users and slow walkers can also enjoy these scenic tours.
There’s accessible parking located near the Tusayan terminal, with a barrier-free pathway over to the Grand Canyon Scenic Airlines building. Inside, there’s plenty of room to maneuver a wheelchair over to the the ticket counter, and through the adjacent gift shop.
This South Rim Airplane Tour is conducted in a Vistaliner aircraft, with large windows, so there’s not a bad seat in the house. There are six stairs up to the aircraft door, but a portable ramp is available for anyone who can’t manage the climb. Some manual wheelchair-users may need a bit of assistance with the slope of the ramp, but the crew is well versed in setting up the adjustable ramp, as the owner’s two sons are wheelchair-users.
There’s a single seat with extra leg room by the aircraft door, and room enough for wheelchair-users to transfer to the seat. Passengers must have enough trunk support to sit upright in the airplane seat for the duration of the flight. Wheelchairs and other mobility devices are stored at the terminal for this air-only tour. And although the crew is happy to set up the ramp, they are not allowed to physically assist with the boarding process or with transfers to the airplane seat.
Reservations for this accessible tour must be made in advance by phone, and the reservation staff is happy to field any access-related questions. So give them a call at (800) 634-6801 and make plans to fly like an eagle on your next Grand Canyon visit.