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Aerial shot of Milford Sound AerodromeWhere the aerodrome is

Milford Sound Piopiotahi Aerodrome is a small, busy aerodrome in Fiordland National Park. Milford is situated close to sea level at the head of Milford Sound. It is located at the conjunction of 3 valley systems and is surrounded by water and steep mountains.

Who operates the aerodrome

We manage operations at the aerodrome. Airways Corporation of New Zealand Ltd (Airways) provides a flight information service, and the Department of Conservation administers the aerodrome land.  

Using the aerodrome

The aerodrome is small, busy and mostly used for general aviation operations under visual flight rules. Most of the flights into Milford are tourist flights scheduled to meet boat sailings and other organised activities when the weather is favourable.

Before using the aerodrome pilots must receive a:

  • landing permit from the Department of Conservation, and
  • pilot’s briefing if they have not flown into the aerodrome in the last 6 months.

Operational requirements and the aerodrome landing chart are detailed in the New Zealand Information Publication on the Aeronautical Information Publication New Zealand website.

Aeronautical Information Publication New Zealand(external link)

How to get a landing permit

You need a landing permit or ‘concession’ from the Department of Conservation to land at the Milford Sound Piopiotahi Aerodrome.

If you wish to apply for a landing permit, you can contact:

The Department of Conservation
Dunedin Office
PO Box 5244
Moray Place

Telephone: 03 477 0677

How to get a pilot’s briefing

Pilots who have not flown into the aerodrome within the last 6 months must be briefed in person. The aerodrome is surrounded by difficult terrain and the airspace is subject to unusual conditions because of the micro-climate there.

Call the Wakatipu Aero Club for more information.

Telephone: 03 442 3148

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has developed guidance on flying to or from Milford Sound Piopiotahi Aerodrome.

In, out and around Milford (PDF)(external link)

Basic mountain flying(external link)

Queenstown-Milford User Group

The Queenstown-Milford User Group (QMUG) formed in 1990 to promote safety for aircraft operators within the Queenstown Flight Information Region. Most operators who use the Milford Sound aerodrome are members of the QMUG, including:

  • local aircraft operators
  • local sport aviation operators
  • CAA
  • Airways (Queenstown)
  • Queenstown Airport Corporation
  • Ministry of Transport
  • Department of Conservation

The QMUG Operations Handbook is a valuable guide for pilots using the aerodrome.

Queenstown-Milford User Group Operations Handbook [PDF, 822 KB] 

How much it costs to use the aerodrome

Airways charges pilots for use of the Flight Information Service. The Airways website has information on their air navigation service (ANS) charges, how they calculate prices and what services they provide.

ANS services and pricing explained(external link)

We operate the aerodrome on a cost recovery basis, which means charges only cover the cost of owning and operating the aerodrome.

The current charges were introduced on 1 December 2011. We invoice operators using the aerodrome monthly in arrears.

Aircraft and charge per landing in NZD (exluding GST)

Helicopters $25.22

Aeroplanes <1500kg MCTOW $23.47

Aeroplanes 1500–1999kg MCTOW $38.15

Aeroplanes 2000–3999kg MCTOW $73.36

Aeroplanes 4000–4999kg MCTOW $117.37

Aeroplanes 5000–5999kg MCTOW $134.97

Aeroplanes 6000>kg MCTOW $293.42

New Zealand Air Navigation Register details

Name: Milford Sound Aerodrome
Code: NZMF
Type: Non-certificated
Co-ordinates: S 44 40 24.0, E 167 55 24.0 (coordinates are WGS-84 datum)

Emergency, health and safety requirements

We are responsible for the aerodrome’s emergency plans, and the health and safety policies.

Aerodrome Emergency Plan

We developed an Aerodrome Emergency Plan for Milford Sound Piopiotahi Aerodrome that is reviewed annually and after any emergency.

Milford Sound Piopiotahi Aerodrome Emergency Plan [PDF, 1.8 MB] 

Aerodrome health and safety

We have general responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. In addition, the Department of Conservation, Airways and QMUG members have employer responsibilities under the Act.

We provide an aerodrome health and safety policy that sets out the responsibilities of each employer, and an aerodrome Health and Safety Manual. The Safety Manual can apply to other aerodrome employers.

We maintain a register of the health and safety hazards at the aerodrome. If you operate in or visit the area and are aware of any hazards that are not on the register, contact us, Airways staff or a local operator.

Milford Sound Piopiotahi Aerodrome Health and Safety Policy [PDF, 231 KB] 

Milford Sound Piopiotahi Aerodrome Health and Safety Manual  [PDF, 316 KB]

Milford Sound Piopiotahi Aerodrome Hazard Register [PDF, 36 KB] 

How to contact us

For aerodrome operational matters, contact:

Chris Read
Telephone: 027 4335 695

For invoicing queries, contact Accounts Receivable.


Telephone: 04 439 9000