A policy review on air travel could see a major boost in the number of visitors coming to the South Island.
The new International Air Transport Policy Statement gives a special consideration for Christchurch to create an 'open air' over the city, effectively removing regulations for offshore airlines.
The new policy will stand until 2017.
Christchurch International Airport chief executive Jim Boult says it's a very good step forward.
"Not only the Christchurch Airport, but basically for the whole of South Island because Christchurch Airport is a main entry point for international visitors into the South Island so yes it's good news."
Mr Boult says the policy sets a foundation for wider discussions with air services from countries such as Indonesia and India, which have previously been hampered.