Member Profile

Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters

Over the last five decades, Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters has evolved into the largest, most experienced, and longest-running air tour operator in the world. Our tour offerings have grown to include flights throughout the entire Grand Canyon - as well as landings on the canyon floor, and to southwest destinations like Las Vegas, Sedona, Page, Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Scottsdale. We offer everything from short trips over the Strip to all-day outdoor excursions, overnight trips, and everything in between. Our catalog of tours and activities extend beyond just aerial travel and include guided tours on horseback, ATV and Polaris Ranger tours, river rafting, and even Hummer tours. Our travelers have a variety of options for an up close and personal experience they'll carry with them long after they leave.   

Papillon's story began with founder Elling Halvorson who owned a construction company known for taking on logistically-challenging and often dangerous projects. His company had been tasked with transporting and a pipeline through rugged canyon terrain. In order to move and place large amounts of pipe across the Grand Canyon, Halvorson began using the most efficient method he could imagine: helicopters. Curiosity got the best of both construction employees and locals alike, and it wasn't long before they began asking Halvorson for rides over the canyon. Halvorson immediately saw an untapped market and began developments for a new business venture. In 1965, Papillon Airways was born.  

Our aircraft are specifically designed for sightseeing with some on-board upgrades developed and patented by Papillon itself. All aircraft offer pre-recorded narration in 16 languages (including English) with noise-cancelling headphones for passengers. Safety is our top priority. Papillon is certified by the Tour Operators Program of Safety (TOPS), whose standards exceed FAA requirements. We are the only Grand Canyon air tour operator to obtain IS-BAO Stage Three certification, the highest achievement of safety granted by International Business Aviation Council (IBAC). Papillon is also the recipient of numerous Diamond Awards presented by the FAA that recognize continuous dedication to maintenance training and aircraft safety.





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