Review of Glenorchy Airstrip Reserve Management Plan 2016

We're starting a review of the Glenorchy Airstrip Reserve Management Plan 2016.

To see initial feedback received on the 2019 Review, click here.



On 14 November 2013 Council resolved to accept the transfer of the Glenorchy Airstrip and associated land from the Department of Conservation, to allow the continued usage of the reserve and airstrip at ‘the current operational level’.

Public consultation was undertaken prior to vesting, and during the preparation of the Reserve Management Plan to understand the user’s and community’s view on how the airstrip should be operated. 

A Reserve Management Plan was subsequently drafted, publicly notified and heard on 7 June 2016.  The Council adopted The Glenorchy Airstrip Reserve Management Plan (RMP) on August 2016.  This plan can be found here:

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Feedback on the Glenorchy Airstrip RMP 2019 Review has now closed. Click here to see feedback received.

More information

The key objectives for the purpose of the Airstrip Reserve in the RMP are:

  • Facilitate existing emergency community, recreational and low intensity commercial tourism aviation as the principle purpose of the Reserve.
  • Aviation activities are managed in a way that provides for the airstrip to be sustained into the future.
  • The nature, scale and intensity of the use of the airstrip remain generally unchanged from the level that exists from the date of adoption of this plan.
  • Other activities taking place at the Reserve remain compatible with the principle purpose of the Reserve.
  • The Reserve is managed and maintained so that the airstrip is safe to use.
  • The Reserve is managed and maintained so that the use remains compatible with the surrounding environment.

As the Reserve Management Plan has been implemented a number of challenges have become apparent:

  • Tourism in the district has experienced unprecedented growth, including at Glenorchy.  Glenorchy township has become a tourism hub.
  • The helicopter business established at the airstrip reserve has become increasingly relied upon by local businesses and farmers.
  • Changes to the District Plan rules has made it easier to establish helicopter operations on private land.
  • Restricting numbers of flights and aircraft infrastructure (hangars) for commercial operators has resulted applications for activities on private land.  One particular application for a commercial helicopter activity and associated hangar in the area has not been received well by some in the Glenorchy community.  This application disperses aviation activities and the associated effects around the wider Glenorchy district.  The operator has stated they would prefer to operate from the airstrip however having restricted flights and limited ability to construct a hangar has meant they need to locate their operation elsewhere in the Glenorchy area.
  • The two commercial operators based at the Glenorchy Airstrip have indicated that operating within 2016 limits makes operating at the airstrip commercially unviable.

Council is now undertaking a review. The timeline and process for this review is:

  • April - June: Notification of intention to review, seeking feedback and undertaking consultation to help inform the Draft
  • June - July: Prepare new Draft Reserve Management Plan 2019 
  • Publicly notify Draft Reserve Management Plan 2019 for two months, seeking public submissions
  • Hear public submissions
  • Reserve Management Plan 2019 then goes before Council