Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Protecting Milford

The Department of Conservation has taken a tough stance on noise pollution at Milford, and is proposing to dramatically limit the number of aircraft movements within the area.

At the moment, Milford aistrip has about 120 aircraft movements (takeoffs and landings) on an average day - about one every five minutes. It can be as high as 240. The noise of this has a significant impact on people's enjoyment of the park: according to a survey quoted on Stuff, aircraft noise had a significant impact on 20% of sound visitors and 51% of users of the Milford Track. Some users have complained that "visiting the area was like experiencing the attack on Pearl Harbour". In order to ensure that people can continue to enjoy the park (and that's one of the things it is for), DOC proposes to limit the total number of aircraft movements to 48 a day for planes, and 27 a day for helicopters, with preference given to larger and quieter aircraft. They also plan to require aircraft to abide by Wellington-style noise restrictions. Predictably, the current concession holders are screaming - but bluntly, they are ruining the enjoyment of a national park for everybody else. That pretty much requires DOC to act. And while some operators are going to go to the wall over this, that isn't DOC's problem. Their legal duty is to protect the national park and ensure that everyone can continue to enjoy it - not ensure that people can continue to make a profit off it.


You haven't lived till you've seen Milford Sound - and felt the sting of its sandflies!

Posted by Hans Versluys : 10/11/2005 01:09:00 PM