Billionaire warned off heli-flights


Queenstown’s council has put a billionaire on final notice to stop using his rural pad for illegal helicopter takeoffs and landings.

Tim Roberts, heir to an Aussie construction company fortune, earlier this year applied for a non-notified resource consent to make up to 20 chopper flights a month, or a maximum two a day, from his 12-hectare property on Queenstown’s Malaghans Road.

Noise concerns were publicly aired by his immediate neighbour Allister Saville and fellow Malaghans Rd resident Peter Faul, who were also worried about the precedent Roberts’ helipad could create.

No decision’s been reached on Roberts’ application.

Meantime, however, Saville and Faul say they’ve observed choppers using his helipad.

Faul: “It wasn’t his helicopter, but I’m presuming [other people] are using his helipad with his permission.”

Faul says the council asked him and Saville to provide affidavits detailing instances of helicopter activity.

Saville comments: “Every-body else has to abide by the laws, and why shouldn’t he?

“At the end of the day, there’s a due process we all live and die by, and one of them’s getting the right consent in place before you go and build a helipad.

“I’ve got no problem with Tim Roberts at all, I actually like the guy, it’s just his helicopter I don’t like.”

Council comms advisor Lu Morris confirms Roberts “has been put on notice by the [council] enforcement team, requesting that he does not undertake any helicopter flights or landings from his property”.

“Since being put on notice, Mr Roberts has not carried out any illegal flights that we have been made aware of.”

Asked whether he’s been using his helipad, and how he reacts to being put on notice by the council, Roberts replies: “I am concerned that malicious and unfounded complaints are being made against me and I find this extremely disturbing.

“I am also concerned that the proponents of such misleading allegations may be attempting to undermine both my good character and my application for resource consent.”