We’re working to make sure aircraft concessions at Milford Sound/Piopiotahi Aerodrome are fair and consistent by consulting with existing operators and Ngāi Tahu.

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.

Landing allocations

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 is considering the appropriate allocation method for aircraft landings at Milford Sound/Piopiotahi Aerodrome and will be working alongside our treaty partner Ngai Tahu on the criteria to be used to inform the decisions.


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 email us.


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