QUEENSTOWN skydive firm Nzone wants to increase the number of flights it can run each day.
The tandem skydive operator has lodged an application for a new resource consent for its operations.
It claims that quieter and faster aircraft mean the impact of its operations has reduced over time. It wants to operate its daily flight limit as an average, to mitigate for bad weather days.
Nzone director Lindsay Williams says: “Our existing consent is based on noise levels that are far in excess of anything we produce these days.
“It restricts us in the number of flights we can undertake because that number is based on old noise levels.
“We propose to operate more flights that are much quieter and of considerably shorter duration than those envisaged under our previous consent.”
Those changes include the purchase of the “quietest available aircraft” – a Cresco 750 and a Cessna Supervan 900.
Nzone say they have significantly reduced the noise effects of takeoff and landing. They are also faster, meaning each trip is shorter.
Williams says the firm can continue to operate under the current consent but wants more flexibility.
“We need permission to operate our daily flight limit as an average as was the intent of the original consent, so we can effectively mitigate bad weather days and deal with the booking backlogs that result,” Williams says.
“Overall, under a new consent as proposed, the quantum of noise exposure, even directly beneath the flight path, will be much less than it was in earlier years but more enabling for us as an award-winning tourism operator.”
Nzone, established in 1990, employed noise consultants Marshall Day to study noise patterns and has provided a full report as part of its application.
Noise testing was conducted at various points considered noise sensitive – including Jack’s Point Village, Jack’s Point Highlands, Lake Hayes Estate, Jardine’s and the proposed Jack’s Point Lodge.