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Aug 31, 2010 5:46 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Town poised to adopt airport plan

Aug 31, 2010 5:46 PM

After more than 20 years of discussion and often heated debate, the East Hampton Town Board is expect to adopt the Airport Master Plan when it meets on Thursday night.

“It’s about time we dealt effectively with the airport,” Town Councilman Dominick Stanzione said Tuesday. “The whole idea behind this is to develop a professionally managed, safe airport. After 20 years of bickering, the town stands at the threshold of resolving the issues at the airport.”

Once the board acts, the airport layout plan, which is part of the master plan, will be sent to the Federal Aviation Administration for its review.

The Republican majority on the board wants to use FAA guidelines for management of 
the airport so the town can continue to receive federal funds 
for airport capital improvements.

Opposition to the use of FAA funds to run the airport has come from many individuals and groups who are concerned about noise and want to see local control of the airport.

Although the Master Plan does address noise at the airport, it does not contain enough language on noise abatement to suit Kathy Cunningham, chairwoman of the Airport Noise Abatement Advisory Committee, which was appointed by the town.

“We don’t oppose the airport, we are here to support it,” she said. “We are trying to help the Town Board understand the noise impact on the community.”

She said there are good elements in the master plan and she would be more in favor of it if it evaluated noise according to the town code. That code, she said, would require the town to make no improvements to the airport unless noise levels are evaluated as a single noise event. The FAA, she said, evaluates noise every day of the year and then averages that noise in decibels.

That kind of measurement for the East Hampton area doesn’t reflect the summer season here when noise, especially from helicopters, increases dramatically, she said.

The master plan, which describes the airport as a no-growth institution, calls for the repaving and reopening of runway 4-22, which has been closed pending repairs. The plan calls for closing runway 16-34 and turning it into a taxiway. The main runway, 10-28, remains unchanged.

The plan also calls for installing a seasonal air traffic control tower, deer fencing around the airport and landside development, which would allow commercial enterprises to buy and use some of the land around the airport.

“I think the master plan has been very well thought out. The town looked at every aspect of the airport and determined it was a no-growth airport, so any projects that are proposed have their basis in that, which will help us maintain a safe and secure airport,” said airport manager Jim Brundige.

“The plan is not really a noise program. That we deal with on a daily basis. This is more of a facilities document,” he said.

Mr. Stanzione said the next phase for the airport will be to work toward “professionalization and an operating strategic plan, including capital planning,” he said.

Tom Lavinio, president of the East Hampton Pilots Association, said the airport plan is solid, but he cautioned that the tower will have to be manned all the time. “That’s an expensive proposition,” he said.

“But anything that is good for the airport I’m in favor of,” he said. “Of course, not everybody has a use for the airport and there have been so many people against it and so many for it over the years. But anything that will help the pilots is just great,” he said.

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Condolences to the people of East Hampton. Everyone's in favor of a well thought out plan to manage safe aviation activities but unfortunately noise control is most often treated as an afterthought and its the noise that so negatively impacts residents quality of life. Amazing that the FAA pushes for growth of small regional airports yet still turns a deaf ear ( pun intended) to the plea from residents for a codified form of relief from the constant noise. Some advice from one living under the ...more
By usuallyquietonquiogue (10), Westhampton Beach on Sep 1, 10 2:37 PM
3 members liked this comment
It is necessary to adopt this plan so that the $ we all have paid on our airline tickets is available to improve this vital facility. Once adopted, a new plan modification should be started. Face it, the Twin Otter has been obsolete since before this plan was commisioned and has NEVER been a dominant aircraft for airports such as ours. WAY too slow in the air!

We need the plan , after adoption, to drought up to current reality and PROPERLY shaped for the future. Including adressing noise ...more
By Lost Tribe (66), East Hampton on Sep 1, 10 5:50 PM
FAA money is dirty money when it pollutes the environment. Shame on all of EH Town who voted that this abominable plan move forward to give EHA the possibility of substantially increasing the number of flights at this troubled airport. Residents will be hugely negatively impacted by the noise of these operations if FAAmoney is accepted. This plan benefits the coffers of EHA, and commercial operators coffers and offers absolutely nothing to address the never ending and growing concerns from ...more
By Trish (91), Sag Harbor on Sep 2, 10 8:15 AM
2 members liked this comment
Those in favor of the plan should have to listen the constant barrage of air traffic over their homes as many of us do. I loved the suggestion on a previous posting on this issue -- that we could use our yards in the winter months when there was little traffic. Gee, what a great idea...............unfortunately, that's all we're able to do now. There's an airplane flying directly over our house as I write this.
As for the money you paid for your plane tickets..............we local people ...more
By lovesag (17), Sag Harbor on Sep 2, 10 11:57 AM
1 member liked this comment
We local yokels are screwed if the FAA assumes control of the operation of the airport which this master plan hopes to achieve. Home rule to rid our skies of these noxious flights is being mortgaged for Fed money to create the life styles of the rich and famous airport. Don't forget to wave when they fly by........FAA No Way.
By danrudan (40), Southampton on Sep 2, 10 4:01 PM
2 members liked this comment
the airport has been there since it was built during the FDR Administration wwith Feederal MONIES. Those liviing in the flight path and complaining now have all owned the realestate since BEFORE the FDR Admin.?????Or did you purchase aftter the airport was active? Now, after taking advantage of a smaller price by buying under the aproaches, want the rest of us to lose the airport so yyour real estate values are increased?

If the noise was such a bother, Why didn't you didn't you buy elsewhere?

The ...more
By Lost Tribe (66), East Hampton on Sep 2, 10 5:49 PM
Come on, folks! A master plan for an airport that doesn't address noise is just plain crazy. And we're not just talking about noise from planes in the air, there's going to be noise like you've never heard before. The run ups as jets sit on the runway engines running to keep the A/C going so its nice and comphy when the passengers arrive; take offs and landings at all hours of the day and night, and don't forget the training sessions. Incessant touch and go's are torture for those of us on the ...more
By gordie howe (55), hockeytown usa on Sep 2, 10 8:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
It's no surprise to anyone that there is noise associated with airports. But consider a typical neighborhood...there is an equal amount, if not more, on a daily basis, from blowers, mowers, weed eaters, power tools, not to mention on our waterways with boats and jet skiis, and in our woods and fields with motor bikes and ATV's. It's unfair to single out the airport as THE major source of noise in our lives. Noise is indiginous to modern life. Holding an airport, acknowledged to be a noisy place, ...more
By M. O'Connor (147), Southampton on Sep 2, 10 9:41 PM
Appealing to the Town of East Hampton to consider the noise impact of their ever expanding airport upon thousands and thousands of residents has failed. They want the FAA money regardless, so the vote said "screw everyone except themselves and their airport." I truly believe they have sold the great soul of the East End to the devil. Getting free money is great - but their GEIS being used to substantiate their needs is faulty and the noise information is severely distorted to show little noise ...more
By SagHarborBob (91), Sag Harbor on Sep 3, 10 7:08 AM
1 member liked this comment
Near Gabreski, as aviation traffic grew, concerned residents impacted by the increasing noise pollution established community action groups to try to preserve what was left of a peaceful quality of life. The biggest surprise was learning that the FAA has a choke hold on a community once an airport "accepts" federal money. Basically, the Feds makes the rules and the heck with residents. Easy bet that everyone of us living under the constant noise from the charter jets, a zillion helicopters a day, ...more
By usuallyquietonquiogue (10), Westhampton Beach on Sep 3, 10 8:37 AM
2 members liked this comment
The facts of life are simple, but poignant: if you don't like noise from aircrafts, don't live near an airport.
If you live near an airport, your home will neither sell, nor rent, for the same amount that it would without an airport.
The Town and its citizens needs the airport, and needs it to be safe, efficient, and accessible.
This airport will never be JFK or even MacArthur.
The Town Board adopted the plan.
Those who feel its adoption was not legal can fight it if a lawyer ...more
By NWHarbor (7), Northwest on Sep 3, 10 9:15 PM
Here...draw a 5 mile radius around any airport and make a point not to buy any property within that radius that you'll consider your dream home/escape. Buyer beware!
By Pippy (7), Southampton on Sep 3, 10 9:38 PM
The argument is not get rid of the airport or suck it up if you happen to own a home nearby. The argument is before expansion and improvements are made, require airport officials and pilots do everything possible to mitigate unnecessary disturbances to the community and involve concerned residents in the dialogue. If the FAA has their way, there won't be a community in the USA that is not impacted by the transformation of a sleepy little air strip into a Gabreski or East Hampton. As it stands ...more
By usuallyquietonquiogue (10), Westhampton Beach on Sep 4, 10 7:37 AM
1 member liked this comment
Some history as I understand it. The airport was built during the great depression for the town at the request of citizens and local pilots to prevent aircraft landing in farm fields and scaring the cows. The FDR administration payed and over built as part of their "stimulus" package and no one cared because it was in the boonies of Wainscott. In the past 30 years the boonies have gone and what was a "hobbiest" air field has become a major aircraft destination with fixed base operators and many ...more
By facts man (148), east hampton on Sep 4, 10 9:08 AM
1 member liked this comment
Or maybe lease it to a for profit consortium of users. They would have to comply with the FAA and all the regulations the town would put on them. If they didn't obey they could be sued by the town or fined by the feds at no cost to the tax payer. They could fire all the employees there for further savings and not need to worry about the upkeep and equipment costs. And there would then be taxes levied, so income from lease and tax. This could be the saviour of the towns finances and all the problems ...more
By facts man (148), east hampton on Sep 4, 10 5:32 PM
the helicopter noise polution is out of control
300$ one way
rich tourists
small % overides 99%
TIm bishop is a joke
By yassar arafar (33), sag harbor on Sep 7, 10 2:19 AM