Tuesday 28 March 2017

Noel Smyth joins the crew who ground the chopper

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

THE collapse of Ireland's helicopter class continues with the news that Tallaght Square developer Noel Smyth has forgone his chopper.

Accounts just filed for Mr Smyth's Alburn Transport show the company disposed of its Agusta 109 chopper in the year to June 2009.

The six-seater twin-engine helicopter had been used to ferry Mr Smyth and his executives to development sites in the North and Glasgow, Scotland.

"It (the helicopter) was totally unjustified," Mr Smyth admitted yesterday. "We set up a company for it so other people could buy hours, but you still couldn't justify it (in this environment)."

The accounts show the helicopter fetched close to €2m, against a purchase price of €2.6m. "It was on the market for a while before it was sold," Mr Smyth said.

Embattled

Other prominent businessmen to offload their choppers in recent times include Ballymore Properties boss Sean Mulryan, beef baron Larry Goodman, supermarket boss Ben Dunne and developer Bernard McNamara.

One tycoon who remains on the latest aircraft registrar, however, is Sean Quinn, who also owns an Agusta 109.

A Quinn spokesman said the embattled businessman did "not wish to make any comment" on whether he's planning to dispose of his wings.

Mr Smyth, meanwhile, hinted that his withdrawal from the skies is likely to be a permanent affair. "We'll probably wind it [Alburn Transport] up now, there's not much point in paying auditing and filing fees for it when it has no purpose," he said.

Irish Independent

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