Chopper firm worked on guidelines

Chris Roberts
Chris Roberts
The Tourism Industry Association says the company that ran the helicopter that crashed on Mt Alta near Wanaka on Saturday has been working with the association on safety guidelines.

TIA chief executive Chris Roberts said Harris Mountains Heli-Ski had helped develop ''specific heli-skiing safety guidelines'' that were now in place.

Responding to questions about the crash - and that involving a light plane near Alexandra earlier this month in which the pilot was killed and two passengers injured - Mr Roberts said it was important to wait for the outcome of investigations to understand why they occurred.

''It is a fact of life that virtually every day, somewhere in the world, an aircraft crashes. Flying of any sort has an inherent risk associated with it.

''What's important is how we manage that risk.''

Mr Roberts said both recent crashes had involved well-established, safety-conscious businesses.

International research showed one-off incidents had no effect on tourism numbers, he said.

As a sector, the industry was already ''very'' safety conscious and aware its livelihood depended on providing a safe experience for customers, he said.