Home' QT Magazine : QT Magazine Winter Contents EVENING FLIGHTS APPROVED FOR
A ground breaking decision giving the green light to
after-dark flights at Queenstown Airport will potentially
boost both Queenstown tourism numbers and the
That is the view of Queenstown Airport Corporation
(QAC) Chief Executive Scott Paterson following a recent
decision by the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority
and Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
Queenstown Airport has had consent for many years
for flights until 10pm, but this has meant evening flights
could only occur in summer, as flights are currently
limited to daylight hours.
Mr Paterson says advanced navigation technology
now in place in Queenstown has been a key to getting
approval for after-dark flights. Required Navigation
Performance Authorisation Required (RNP AR)
flight procedures were introduced in 2012 allowing
jet aircraft to fly very precise paths in a range of
weather conditions, improving airspace capacity and
"Realistically, evening flights won't be introduced before
winter 2016, but we now have a very clear roadmap of
the technology, infrastructure and operational steps
required to enable it to happen," he says.
"Evening flights would be a huge plus for travellers
making weekend holidays from Auckland and
Australia possible year-round. They would also
provide business people with more flexibility with
their travel plans and potentially allow people to base
themselves in Queenstown and commute to other
main centres for work."
REAL JOURNEYS MARKS 60TH ANNIVERSARY
Prominent New Zealand tourism operator, Real
Journeys, is celebrating 60-years in business this year
and marking the milestone with the recent purchase of
Cardrona Alpine Ski Resort and an upgrade of facilities
and purchase of land at Walter Peak on the shores of
The company was launched in 1954 under the banner
of the Manapouri-Doubtful Sound Tourism Company,
by tourism and conservation pioneers Les and Olive
Hutchins and today the company remains largely in
Hutchins family ownership.
The Hutchins began by guiding visitors into remote
Doubtful Sound and during the 1960s expanded
their vessel services on Lake Manapouri, purchasing
Fiordland Travel which owned the Te Anau Gloworm
Caves and Milford Track lake transport services. They
saved the now 101-year old, Queenstown-based
vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw from being scuttled
by the Government in 1969.
In 1970 Fiordland Travel took on the Government
monopoly in Milford Sound and began operating
cruises, introducing a flight service from Queenstown
in 1987. Walter Peak High Country Farm was leased
in the 1990s and tourism operations commenced there
with the TSS Earnslaw visiting daily.
In 2002 the company was rebranded to Real Journeys
and among other ventures operates the Bluff- Stewart
Island ferry service and sightseeing activities at Stewart
Plans are underway to rebuild an historic homestead at
Paradise at the Head of the Lake after it was destroyed
by a lightning strike in May this year.
The Historic Places Category 1 house, originally built in
1883, had been derelict for 25 years before the Paradise
Trust restored it five-years ago to its original state and
re-opened it as visitor accommodation.
Trust Chairman Tom Pryde says it was devastating to
lose the house, and its 131-year-old heritage, along
with irreplaceable historic items.
He says it is fortunate that insurance cover was in
place to allow the homestead to be rebuilt, but in
the meantime the community is being asked to help
support the Trust, which is facing high operating costs
with no current income.
A key supporter of the Friends of Paradise appeal is
Kiwi film director Sir Peter Jackson, best known for
the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit series, in which
scenes were filmed on location at the Head of the Lake.
"We first came to Paradise over 15 years ago," says
Sir Peter. "It is always a great privilege to film here --
you could search the world over and never find a more
beautiful place on earth."
MONORAIL PROPOSAL REJECTED
The Government has given the thumbs down to plans
for a monorail in Fiordland National Park which would
have been an integral part of a new link between
Queenstown and Milford Sound.
Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith says the
$210m proposal by Riverstone Holdings, headed by
developer Bob Robertson of Wanaka, did not stand up
economically or environmentally.
Dr Smith was concerned that the monorail could
become a "white elephant" in the World Heritage
national park if the business was to fail. But he
concluded that the monorail venture had more merit
than the Milford Tunnel proposal which was turned
down last year.
around the region
WITH JENNY MCLEOD
Les and Olive Hutchins
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