An Auckland company wants to set up a landing pad near Russell's town centre which could take up to 11 helicopter movements a day.
A resource consent application for a chopper landing area has been lodged with the Far North District Council for a property at 23 Matauwhi Rd, between Matauwhi Bay and Russell township.
The proposed landing pad is about 600m from the town centre but consent is required because it is 150m from the boundary of Russell Township Zone. Under the council's District Plan consent is required for helicopter landing sites within 200m of a township zone.
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The landing pad could also exceed permitted noise levels at times although flying hours would be limited to 7am-8pm on weekdays and 8am-8pm on weekends.
The council has yet to decide whether the proposed landing pad needs to be publicly notified.
It had suspended the resource consent application until the developer provided extra information, district services manager Dean Myburgh said.
"The applicant has 20 working days to supply the information but this will depend on the availability of relevant experts. Once that information is supplied, a decision will be made by the council on whether the application needs to be notified."
No new buildings or earthworks are proposed.
In a draft submission by the Russell Protection Society, chairman Bob Drey said the proposed landing pad threatened Russell's peace and quiet.
Helicopter noise would affect a much broader area of the village than just Matauwhi Bay, he said.
''The noise of helicopters in the location and of the scale proposed by the applicant would serve to destroy this tranquillity for many.''
The applicant had also failed to provide adequate information about how topography, local climate and the nature of tourist helicopter operations would affect the way noise spread.
Drey called for full public notification because of the large number of people that would be affected.
The actual number of helicopter movements being sought depends on the size of the chopper.
The application is for an average of 40 flights per week — to a maximum of 11 a day — of helicopters such as the Eurocopter EC130, the type often used to shuttle wealthy visitors to lodges on the Purerua Peninsula.
The number of helicopters such as the twin-engined Bell 429 Global Ranger would be limited to a seven-day average of 20 or a maximum of five a day, while just seven flights a week or a maximum of two a day would be allowed by the larger Eurocopter AS355 Twin Squirrel.
At present, according to the resource consent application, most of the property is covered in mānuka. It has one dwelling, a large boatshed and a 40m-long jetty. The landing pad would be near the boatshed at the southwestern end of the property.
It would be used by people travelling to Russell from Auckland or Bay of Islands Airport.