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Jul 22, 2015 7:25 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Town Appeals Federal Court Injunction Against Airport Noise Restriction Law

East Hampton Town is appealing a court injunction on its airport one-trip-per week law. LAURA WEIR
Jul 28, 2015 4:00 PM

East Hampton Town has filed an appeal, seeking to overturn a federal court injunction against a local law that limits noisy aircraft at East Hampton Airport to one trip per week.

The law was one of three that were approved by the Town Board in April to address complaints coming from residents all over the East End about noise and an increasing amount of air traffic in and out of the airport. The town adopted three new codes that set a pair of curfews for operations at the airport and limited aircraft considered especially loud, including many helicopters, to a single landing and takeoff each week.

In June, following a lawsuit filed by a group representing aviation interests, an injunction was placed on the third law, the one that would limit use of the airport to once per week for certain types of aircraft.

Attorneys for the aviation group Friends of the East Hampton Airport, which filed the suit over the new airport laws, asked for the temporary restraining order barring the town from imposing its new flight restrictions until the lawsuit could be adjudicated.

U.S. District Court Judge Joanna Seybert declined to issue the restraining order on the curfews—which have been in effect since July 2—saying the town was within its authority to open and close the airport as it saw fit, but said the restrictions on the number of operations could not go into effect until the legal arguments in the lawsuit were heard. That is the decision that the town is appealing, seeking to have the once-a-week limit in effect while the court decides its legality.

“We believe all three laws are lawful and necessary to protect the quality of life on the East End,” Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said in a 
release last week. “These three laws are the result of careful, thoughtful and transparent balancing by the Town Board. We are hopeful that the Court of Appeals will recognize that all three laws are essential to address the problem of excessive aircraft noise.”

East Hampton Town hired Kathleen M. Sullivan, an appellate attorney with Quinn 
Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, to aid it in the appeal of the restraining order. She will work with the town’s airport counsel, Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell LLP.

Loren Riegelhaupt, spokesperson for Friends of the East Hampton Airport, declined to comment on the town’s appeal of the restraining order.

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Is this an interlocutory appeal, technically speaking, because the case has not gone to a full trial yet, and there is no final judgment injunction which would be subject to appeal? If so, the standard for immediate review by the Court of Appeals, under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, makes it less likely that the Town will prevail at this stage of the game IMO.

Given that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals will be hearing the matter, however, the Town's interestingly aggressive ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 22, 15 8:28 PM
Shinnecock Bay sounds like a war zone on weekends, all for a patch of asphalt in the meadows that they land on.
By alhavel (50), Hampton Bays on Jul 22, 15 9:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By nazznazz (276), east hampton on Jul 22, 15 10:16 PM
At last, the people of the east end are being represented! We are grateful to our distinguished Town Board members and Supervisor Larry Cantwell for pressing forward with new legal counsel. The east end must not become a mecca for aircraft noise pollution which is being destroyed by profiteers and carpetbaggers. Return KHTO to it's peaceful aviation enthusiasts airport before the barrage of commercial businesses bombarded it. The residents have a right to enjoy their homes in peace and quiet ...more
By mcgrawkeber (47), East Hampton on Jul 23, 15 1:25 PM
Southampton town board is doing NOTHING! They only cash salaries and that's all! Streets are not swept only where the wealthy live,rentals permit has to be filled only by Southampton town residents and NOT the Southampton village residents because they are too wealthy,helicopters fly like crazy over Hampton Bays hamlet when they could land at Gabreski and passengers to use cars from there.We have to change all town board,these guys are not protecting the regular citizen,they just don't do nothing!Out ...more
By dany (33), Water Mill on Jul 23, 15 2:55 PM
By native68 (20), southampton on Jul 28, 15 2:11 PM
The helicopter landing pad in Southampton was originally for the hospital to use down the road for emergencies, it doesn’t even have tower or proper landing lights.
By alhavel (50), Hampton Bays on Jul 23, 15 7:56 PM
That is simply ridiculous. The Helipad and hospital are six miles apart; hardly "down the road." It is rare for helipads to have control towers.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Jul 28, 15 2:21 PM
The article now clarifies the procedural posture of the case:

"U.S. District Court Judge Joanna Seybert . . . said the restrictions on the number of operations could not go into effect until the legal arguments in the lawsuit were heard. That is the decision that the town is appealing, seeking to have the once-a-week limit in effect while the court decides its legality."
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 28, 15 3:35 PM
In support of this preliminary injunction, the plaintiffs presented interim evidence that there could be financial harm to the commercial (mostly out-of-town) chopper/charter interests, should the once-a-week limit be allowed to stand. Whether the harm would have been "irreparable" is subject to debate, as compensatory damages might have "repaired" the damage. No matter -- water over the dam at this point.

The crucial point, however, is that all commercial interests are now on actual notice ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 28, 15 4:52 PM