Date: 13 February 2017
The Department of Conservation is increasing fees for commercial aircraft landings on conservation land to bring them in line with increased market rates from the growth in tourism.
Changes are also being made to the fees structure so it covers the range of aircraft landing activities and is consistent and fair for all aircraft operators.
DOC Director for Permissions, Planning and Land, Marie Long, said the changes were needed to bring fees in line with the increased value of aircraft landings due to market growth.
“We’ve seen significant growth in demand from tourists to take flights into conservation areas, which has led to increases in ticket prices.
“Our aircraft landing fees haven’t changed since 2011 so we need to bring them up to current market prices to ensure a fair and reasonable rate of return on this commercial use of conservation areas.”
The increased fees would continue to be based on about 7% of aircraft ticket prices and will be incrementally introduced from 1 July to allow the sector time to adapt, said Marie Long.
“We will discuss the changes with all affected concessionares to work through how they will be applied to their business prior to their regular rent review, which is when the new fees are triggered.”
A new category of ‘shuttle service’—for dropping off and picking up clients within a day—will be added to the existing categories of drop off or pick up from single and multiple sites, snow and glacier landings and heli-skiing.
The fee review is part of DOC’s normal business practice in managing concessions or permits for commercial activities and follows the legal requirement under the Conservation Act to set fees at market rates.
The increased revenue will be returned to the Crown accounts.
DOC manages about 200 concessions for aircraft landings on public conservation land, which generate about $2.2 million in Crown revenue.
For media enquiries contact:
Fiona Oliphant, DOC Media Advisor
Mobile: +64 27 470 1378