Aircraft landings on public conservation land and water require a concession issued by DOC. As concessions for landings at the Milford Sound/Piopiotahi Aerodrome expire soon, we aim to make sure we consider future landing concessions in a fair and consistent way.
DOC is taking steps to “carry out other actions that may encourage specific applications” pursuant to 17ZG(2)(a) of the Conservation Act 1987. These actions include consulting with the existing aircraft operators at Milford Sound, and working with Ngāi Tahu.
How current operations are affected
Temporary restrictions on new applications for regular landings
Our work to carry out these actions means no new applications for more than 10 landings a year at this location can be considered unless your application is consistent with our work.
Applications for 10 landings per annum or less, such as one-off permits for recreational landings, are unaffected by this decision.
We have not made any decisions on how aircraft landings will be allocated. So allocations remain the same at this stage.
We’re working in partnership with Ngāi Tahu and consulting with existing commercial aircraft operators at Milford Sound/Piopiotahi for their views.
One-off permits for recreational flights
Recreational fliers can apply for a one-off permit to land at the aerodrome as usual. The process for one-off permits is not affected by this work.
What happens next
DOC expects to make a decision on how aircraft landings at Milford Sound/Piopiotahi Aerodrome will be considered, and the criteria to approve applications for landings by late 2021.
No details at this point. Details, such as submissions and the decision outcome, will be added when they are available.
If you have a question regarding this process you can contact Rory McLean, Permissions Advisor.