Most aircraft access to public conservation land is through national parks. For many of our visitors, aircraft access is the only way to directly connect to the beauty of our national parks, particularly our snow and glaciated areas.
National Park Plans manage landing locations and numbers, whereas safety and impact on other users of the park from overflight noise is often managed via operator user group agreements. The direct environmental impact of aircraft landings in national parks is extremely low, as landings are at air-strips in developed places such as Milford Sound, and usually by helicopter or float plane in un-developed areas.
TIA advocates for:
- Aircraft operator user groups – particularly that the Civil Aviation Authority and Department of Conservation support the user group model; TIA facilitates the user group/regulator interface when needed.
- National park plan aircraft access limits to be based on evidence, so that noise impact on other users of national parks is well managed while enabling safe, high quality, and financially sustainable aircraft access.
- Park plans to enable aircraft access limits to evolve during the plan’s 10 year time frame in recognition that climate change, biodiversity threats, visitor demand and technology are all very difficult to predict over a 10 year period.
- Concession fees to be set at a sustainable rate, and in a predictable way.
TIA is currently working on:
Park plan reviews:
Facilitating input on aircraft landings into the Westland and Aoraki draft park plans and the upcoming Fiordland and Aspiring park plan reviews. This includes working with operators, Department of Conservation, and recreational stakeholder groups.
Ngapunatoru plateau glacier landings:
Working with Department of Conservation and concessionaries to support practical and constructive implementation of the findings of the 2018 Ombudsman’s report
Department of Conservation soundscaping work and tranquillity models:
Supporting Department of Conservation’s work on gathering soundscaping data, and establishing tranquillity modelling techniques for the national park planning system.
Aircraft landing fees:
Advocating for consistent and fair aircraft landing fees and to gain clarity on the methodology used by DOC in setting aircraft landing concession fees.
Advocating for DOC to run fair and effective processes to manage landing allocations at Milford Aerodrome.