Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nzone Skydive seeks new resource consent

One of New Zealand's most popular tourism activities is applying for a new resource consent that will allow more flexibility in its operation and a move to a more modern noise assessment.

Nzone, a Queenstown based tandem-skydiving company established in 1990, today [Thursday 26 January] lodged its application for an entirely new consent which will recognise changes to aircraft and reductions in noise levels the company has made over that time.

Those changes include the purchase of the quietest available aircraft - a Cresco 750 and a Cessna Supervan 900 - which have significantly reduced the noise effects of takeoff and landing, as well as general operation. The aircraft are also significantly faster meaning each trip is of a shorter duration.

Nzone Director Lindsay Williams says that while the company can continue to operate under its current consent, the consent has been outmoded by advances in aircraft performance. The company believes a new consent should incorporate rules based on the lower noise levels the company now operates within.

"Our existing consent is based on noise levels that are far in excess of anything we produce these days and 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. 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.

"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 has had noise consultants Marshall Day study the noise patterns and has provided a full report as part of its application.

Noise testing was conducted at various points considered noise sensitive locations at Jacks Point Village, Jacks Point Highlands, Lakeside Estate, Jardine's and the proposed Jacks Point Lodge.


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