[House Report 108-741]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

108th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     108-741

                     NEVADA, FOR USE AS A HELIPORT


October 6, 2004.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed


  Mr. Pombo, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4285]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 4285) to provide for the conveyance of certain public 
land in Clark County, Nevada, for use as a heliport, having 
considered the same, report favorably theron without amendment 
and recommend that the bill do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 4285 is to provide for the conveyance 
of certain public land in Clark County, Nevada, for use as a 


    The Las Vegas Valley is among the fastest growing 
communities in the United States, at present adding more than 
6,000 new residents per month. The local economic community 
thrives on tourism with one of the most popular tourist 
excursions being the helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. 
Currently, helicopter tour flight paths impact long-standing 
residential neighborhoods with overflights approaching ninety 
per day.
    The purpose of this legislation is to provide a suitable 
location for the establishment of a commercial service heliport 
facility to serve the Las Vegas Valley. One of the primary 
goals is also to minimize the impact of air tours on the Sloan 
Canyon National Conservation Area (Conservation Area) and North 
McCullough Mountains Wilderness that lie just north of the 
major residential areas. The bill directs the Bureau of Land 
Management to convey to Clark County, Nevada, 229 acres of 
public land for a new Clark County Public Heliport Facility. 
H.R. 4285 also seeks to prevent helicopter flights over the 
Conservation Area except between 3 and 5 miles north of the 
southern-most boundary, lower than 1,000 feet over eastern 
segments and lower than 500 feet over the western segments.
    In addition, any operator of a helicopter tour originating 
from or concluding at the new heliport shall pay the Clark 
County Department of Aviation a $3 conservation fee for each 
passenger on the tour if any of the helicopter tour overflies 
the Conservation Area. The fee collected will be placed in a 
special account in the Treasury of the United States. Those 
funds will then be made available to the Secretary of the 
Interior for management of cultural, wildlife and wilderness 
resources on public land in the State of Nevada.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    Representative Jim Gibbons (R-NV) introduced H.R. 4285 on 
May 5, 2004. The bill was then referred to the Committee on 
Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee on 
National Parks, Recreation and Public Lands. On September 14, 
2004, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On September 
15, 2004, the Full Resource Committee met to consider the bill. 
The Subcommittee was discharged from further consideration of 
the bill by unanimous consent. No amendments were offered and 
the bill was ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by unanimous consent.


    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations 
are reflected in the body of this report.


    Article I, section 8 and Article IV, section 3 of the 
Constitution of the United States grant Congress the authority 
to enact this bill.


    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures. According to the Congressional 
Budget Office, enactment of this bill will have a ``negligible 
effect'' on direct spending.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. The bill does 
not authorize funding and therefore clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII 
of the Rules of the House of Representatives does not apply.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 

H.R. 4285--A bill to provide for the conveyance of certain public land 
        in Clark County, Nevada, for use as a heliport

    CBO estimates that H.R. 4285 would have no significant 
impact of the federal budget. Enacting the bill would have a 
negligible effect on direct spending and would not affect 
    H.R. 4285 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to 
give 229 acres of federal land to Clark County, Nevada, The 
county would use that land to build a heliport facility, H.R. 
4285 would require helicopter tour operators who use that 
facility to pay a fee of $3 per passenger if they fly over the 
Sloan Canyon National conservation Area, which is adjacent to 
the proposed heliport site. Under the bill, the Secretary could 
retain and spend those fees, without further appropriation, to 
manage cultural, wildlife, and wilderness resources on federal 
land in Nevada.
    According to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the 
federal land to be conveyed currently generates no significant 
receipts and is not expected to do so over the next 10 years. 
Based on information from BLM, we estimate that charging 
helicopter tour operators a fee as proposed under H.R. 4285 
would generate offsetting receipts (a credit against direct 
spending) totaling less than $500,000 annually. Because we 
expect those amounts would be largely offset within the year 
they are collected by increased spending for resource 
management, we estimate that any resulting net change in direct 
spending under H.R. 4285 would be negligible.
    H.R. 4285 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments. 
Enacting this legislation would benefit Clark County by 
providing for the conveyance of federal land to the county at 
very little cost: only the administrative costs of the 
transfer. These costs would be incurred voluntarily.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Megan Carroll. 
This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.


    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing