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Jul 3, 2018 7:25 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Hampton Finds Little Encouragment From FAA On Airport Restrictions

Officials are wrestling with the FAA over how to proceed with an application to impose new flight restrictions at East Hampton Airport.    MICHAEL WRIGHT
Jul 3, 2018 1:06 PM

The Federal Aviation Administration has offered few encouraging signs that it might allow East Hampton Town to restrict the number of flights into East Hampton Airport, town officials say.

Members of the Town Board and consultants for the town have been wrestling with how to propose limits at the airport that would reduce the overall number of flights, particularly by helicopters, that the FAA will approve. After meeting recently with representatives and attorneys from the federal agency, though, board members said the FAA gave them no guidance on what tack they might take with any hope of success.

“We want to keep the airport in operation in a way it can sustain itself but at the same time limit the number of operations, and we don’t quite have our arms around that yet,” Councilwoman Sylvia Overby told members of the town’s Airport Management Advisory Committee last month. “And it’s not just striking that balance—we have to have a partner in the FAA. And, so far, they have been less than helpful.”

The town plans to file a so-called Part 161 application later this year, starting a process that could take years and millions of dollars to complete. How exactly to approach the application is murky, because no municipality has ever asked the FAA for the sort of general flight restrictions on private aircraft that the town is seeking.

Ms. Overby and Councilman Jeff Bragman are the Town Board liaisons to the airport and are tasked with crafting the regulations the town will ask the FAA for permission to impose. The town is expected to ask the FAA to reinstate overnight curfews like those the town had adopted in 2015, only to have them removed by a federal appeals court after two seasons.

But the town has said that it also hopes to find a way to reduce overall air traffic to ease the noise impacts on residents of several communities on the North and South Forks that are under flight paths.

In April, the town’s attorney for the Part 161 application, Bill O’Connor, had offered several suggestions for possible approaches, including quotas on certain operators, or fixed landing and takeoff times that could be tailored to reduce traffic volume.

If noise impacts are not reduced, board members have surmised, sentiment in the community may someday turn to closing down the airport.

The Part 161 application and the future of the airport are at the heart of a split between the Town Board and the Airport Management Advisory Committee over whether the town should pay to have a dedicated taxiway built along the full length of the airport’s main runway.

The committee, which includes some staunch critics of the airport’s impact on surrounding neighborhoods, has recommended that the taxiway be built. The Town Board approved bonding $2.1 million in January to do the taxiway project—over Ms. Overby’s objections—but has not advanced the project since then.

At the recent meeting, Ms. Overby said the hesitation on the part of the board is out of concern about “sending the wrong message” to the FAA about the town’s plans for the airport.

“This is something we are discussing with our outside counsel, and we are listening to what they say,” she said. “They are looking at it as a whole process, and how that sends signals as to what the intention of the Part 161 is going to be.”

Committee members challenged her on whether the town was taking an approach that would only make emergency fixes.

“Are we only spending money on catastrophe situations?” the committee’s chairman, Arthur Malman, asked. “Is it that, except for safety situations, you don’t want to spend money on an airport that could be closed?”

Ms. Overby said that was not the case and pointed to the more than $1 million the town had spent on upgrading the airport’s fuel supply depot this year. She denied that the Town Board has made any decision about closing the airport if the Part 161 is unsuccessful at reining in aircraft noise.

“I don’t think we’ve reached that conclusion in such a stark way,” she said. “The Town Board as a whole wants the airport to be a general aviation airport … that doesn’t negatively impact people’s lives. That’s not easy to achieve with 20,000-plus operations [flights per year].”

Committee members pressed their position that completing the taxiway would have no impact on the volume of traffic at the airport and would still be needed if the town is successful in reducing the number of flights at the airport.

“A full parallel taxiway is appropriate for any outcome for the airport, other than closing it,” said David Gruber, who committee members made a point of noting over the winter had essentially never agreed with the aviation industry representatives on the committee until the taxiway project came up. “There is nothing inconsistent with a full taxiway, assuming there is an airport at all.”

Mr. Bragman reiterated that the attorneys had been the ones to hit the pause button, looking ahead to the FAA rather than management of the airport.

“We are not picking this apart in pieces,” he said. “We’re following the attorney’s suggestions.”

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"If noise impacts are not reduced, board members have surmised, sentiment in the community may someday turn to closing down the airport." Ya think? We're there already...
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Jul 3, 18 8:52 AM
1 member liked this comment
Yeah all 10 of you who want to close the airport really do make up the "community". Meanwhile thousands of members of our local community expressed their support for the airport at its fun day event last year because they know this community NEEDS its local airport. But I guess they don't count huh. Your little group of 10 represented over 58% of the complaints filed about the airport, with most of the other 40% only filing one single complaint in an entire 12 month period. Just because you loudly ...more
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Jul 3, 18 9:17 AM
OH! There is a complaint number? Could you kindly post it?Thanks.
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Jul 3, 18 9:42 AM
Overby and Bragman unequivocally have expressed that they want to close the airport because they both stand to personally profit from its redevelopment as more empty McMansions. They only care about short term profits for themselves so they will sabotage any effort to achieve a reasonable resolution with the FAA. They don't care at all about the $20M annual loss of revenue to the community and businesses, or the over $10M annual loss in direct salary income to local workers the closure would cause, ...more
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Jul 3, 18 9:04 AM
Please enlighten us how Bragman and Overby personally profit from closing the airport. Extra credit for specifics. Where do you get 10MM annual loss in direct salary income to local workers? Let's see your math.
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Jul 3, 18 9:42 AM
The majority of the anti-airport group is made up of real estate and developer interests including contractors, REIT investors and attorneys. It's closure is hugely profitable a business acquisition wolf dressed up in the sheep's clothing of being about noise (which could have been mitigated years ago and still can easily be done if that was really the goal). The 660 acres of airport land is worth over $1B undeveloped, and quite a bit more if developed into residential homes. Bragman has been the ...more
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Jul 3, 18 11:21 AM
1 member liked this comment
So any local who is a lawyer, contractor, or in the real-estate industry who opposes current airport operations expects to personally profit if the airport closes? I think that covers 95% of East Hampton residents. And.. anyone who is friends with someone in these professions will also financially benefit? Uhhh... you might want to think this through a little.

Do you have a link to these studies from ECONOMIC PROFESSIONALS...

Of course the negative impact of loud jets and ...more
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Jul 3, 18 6:45 PM
That is not true. I live near the airport and the drastic increase in helicopter traffic, with them flying directly over my home, has ruined my life. It is easy to be for something if you do not experience the real life effects. I suggest you visit someone whose home is directly affected by the dramatic increase in airport traffic to understand what life is like for us. Perhaps there are developers waiting to make a buck, but the reality is that those of us who live in the air traffic corridors ...more
By LZerilli (3), Wainscott on Jul 5, 18 9:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
So you bought a house right next to an airport that has been there since 1936 and has been running commuter flights since 1946 and helicopter commuter flights since 1979 (using SIGNIFICANTLY larger and louder aircraft back then) and you now are complaining about it and trying to close it. I bet you bought your house at a notable discount because it was next to the airport too, and now you want to close it in hopes that your property value will temporarily go up and you can make some money.
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Jul 9, 18 9:54 AM
1 member liked this comment
You aren't a "local" if you were you'd be concerned about how the noise is destroying the bucolic nature of our area. You would be concerned about the environmental impacts of the most inefficient type of transportation, spewing particulates to all the folks below. If you were local you know there are more jobs here than people who work them. If you were local you'd know we don't care about your money. Locals simply want to live in peace and quiet and enjoy the beautiful beaches and nature surrounding ...more
By Wainscott217 (12), Wainscott on Jul 10, 18 9:29 AM
If you were local you would know the airport property is located in the East Hampton Water Recharge Overlay and the Suffolk County Groundwater Protection District. Nothing can be developed as you suggest. A benign solar farm was squashed. All your economics are fake. The $10M in lost salaries came from a New York State report that includes all jobs in NYS, not East Hampton jobs. It included jobs at the Sikorsky plant in Wappingers Falls, NY and Elmira, NY. You know this but spout fake news. It's ...more
By Wainscott217 (12), Wainscott on Jul 10, 18 10:21 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Jul 10, 18 4:43 PM
I spend half the year flying out of Santa Monica, California. We will lose our airport to real estate interests. Take it from me, if you don't fight with everything you have now, you too will lose your airport. If SMO is any indicator, this isn't about noise or safety but rather greedy developers and tax revenue. These city councils manipulate data constantly and use the reasonable concerns of the afflicted few, as a Trojan horse to steal public infrastructure. When a major storm hits the East ...more
By Todd58 (1), Westhampton on Jul 3, 18 12:27 PM
2 members liked this comment
If you know Santa Monica you know it is the poster child for failed noise abatement policies. It had the strictest noise abatement laws in the country and the highest fines. The airport will close. Noise abatement simply is not the answer. Restrictions are the only solution. I say get rid of the helicopters and 90% of the noise issue is solved. I'm a pilot, I'm in favor of keeping the airport open but I'm done with the reckless, cowboy bush pilots flying helicopters. It is simply a safety issue ...more
By Wainscott217 (12), Wainscott on Jul 5, 18 10:21 PM
1 member liked this comment
Fake “pilot”. You are not a pilot and have never been one. Real pilots know the FARs and regs about why it a violation of federal law to prohibit one type of aircraft from an airport. Real pilots would never call for the wholesale closure of an important airport. You’re as much of a pilot as I am the captain of Brazil’s World Cup team. Shows how pathetic and desperate the land thieves trying to close the airport really are.
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Jul 9, 18 9:46 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Wainscott217 (12), Wainscott on Jul 9, 18 11:42 PM
I object to 27 East's censorship to further localEH's personal attacks. I am a pilot and owned a single engine airplane based at KHTO for 10 years. I never called for wholesale closure as localEH falsely claims. My comment was not duplicate, off-topic or inappropriate. localEH's comment is inappropriate. You cannot hold a comment section and censor an entire response to false personal attacks.
By Wainscott217 (12), Wainscott on Jul 10, 18 10:32 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Jul 10, 18 4:17 PM
Slightly disingenuous argument. People from the the north and south forks both complain about helicopter noise. I know people in sag harbor who call in complaints about helicopter noise. If it was just people around the airport that would be one thing, but it’s way more wide ranging. The adage about contractors and real estate agents is irrelevant. People have the right to a little peace and quiet. No one cares about small planes taking off and landing, helicopters on the other hand are a ...more
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Jul 5, 18 7:40 AM
2 members liked this comment
I agree. Helicopter noise is the number one problem on Long Island in every legislators office. Folks all over Long Island and especially the North Fork are Tortured and Tormented by helicopter noise, Rep. Tim Bishop and Senator Chuck Schumer coined that term. Zeldin's office in inundated with complaints. It's been the number one complaint at the Wainscott CAC for well over 10 years. If the helicopters are not banned the airport will close, mark my words. It's not a few people anymore, it's thousands, ...more
By Wainscott217 (12), Wainscott on Jul 5, 18 10:29 PM
I hope and pray that the residents shut the airport down. I live in Northeast Queens and the charter flight to the Hamptons are destroying the quality of life in our neighborhood. It is not only helicopters but sea planes as well. We have our own complaint collection app and we have collect over 30,000 complaints in six months. The lie that it is five people complaining is outrageous. The ERHC has been collecting biased data claiming complaints have dropped because they are pilots and that’s ...more
By Carrie11357 (1), Whitestone on Jul 6, 18 7:52 AM
1 member liked this comment
You do realize that if the close HTO the number of helicopters will increase by 400-500%? The only aircraft affected by closing HTO are fixed wing planes, which make up 4/5 of the operations at HTO. All of the people who used fixed wing planes will take helicopters now. They will land at Southampton, Montauk and Sag Harbor/Noyac where Liberty Helicopters is going to park its Baylander. Oh you didn’t know they already purchased a Baylander to use as a helipad in the harbor and bay? It’s ...more
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Jul 9, 18 10:08 AM
If your hobby is ruining the quality of life of innocent, tax paying citizens, it's time for you to find a new hobby or practice it elsewhere.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Jul 6, 18 7:58 AM
1 member liked this comment
I live over 20 miles away from East Hampton airport and have had multiple
double engine helicopters directly over my house below 1000 feet and even had one below 500 feet again directly over my house not to mention on Fridays I get over 60 copters above I can only hope for clear sky`s. for just a little help. Unfortunately we all know that 7 out of 8 past weekends have been cloudy.
These helicopters need to use the barely used South Shore Route and give us a break over on the North Fork ...more
By shredman (11), Northville on Jul 6, 18 6:56 PM
If the town had not rejected the request to raise the ATC tower height a few feet so they could see over the trees to the south and rejected the request for technology that helps our ATC guide traffic in clouds, then those helicopters would be able to be routed to the south. Currently the tower can only allow helicopters to approach from the north when there are low clouds because they have to visually see them (no radar in the tower) and can only do that if they are to the north. The tower and ...more
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Jul 9, 18 10:19 AM
Oh dear! We feel so sorry for the poor misunderstood local pilots who have fought SO HARD for chopper noise control from the very beginning of this debate over the last decade.


Fiddle Fiddle Fiddle !!!

By Nero (301), Sag Harbor on Jul 10, 18 7:07 AM
1 member liked this comment
@ localEH

Your defense of the airport becomes ever more óutre.

Now, to your unsupported claim that criticism of the airport is driven by malign real estate developers who lust after the property you add the ridiculous assertion that local residents who complain are only trying to kill the airport so that they can make a profit by selling their profit after the noise level becomes normal.


The gobsmackingly obvious reason that people object to the ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Jul 9, 18 10:10 AM
I hope you enjoy helicopter noise because if you close the airport there will be a 400-500% increase in helicopter traffic to our area. Do you really think Clinton, Baldwin, Beyoncé, Rennart and the other 150,000+ hedgies and summer people using the airport will suddenly spend 5 hours driving out here from NYC? The helicopter companies are loving your plan to close the airport because their business will skyrocket. They will launch a massive marketing campaign to drive all of those people ...more
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Jul 9, 18 10:40 AM
@ localEH


"You just want to permanently ground us little prop planes because you are petty and vindictive and promised to destroy us if we didn’t join you."

Well, so much for reason and rational dialogue.

As for your threat that helicopters will smother us if the airport is closed - - - if that happens, the citizenry will simply shutter those additional landing locations as well. It will be much easier since we will ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Jul 9, 18 11:19 AM
I myself like the little prop planes. I have several friends who own and fly them. They are not the problem and never were. It’s helicopters. They are ruining the quality of life up and down the north and south forks.frankly most of the north shore.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Jul 9, 18 2:59 PM
No, no, no. Choppers won't have to fly over our homes because our Federal officials and the FAA will have to implememt a mandatory South Shore route which means that pilots will have to fly around Montauk to get to the "floating" helipad. **No transiting over land** under any circumstances.. Problem solved! More fuel consumed+More toxins in the air+Possibly dumping of fuel exhaust into our Bays from the exhaust = polluted Bay. Sounds like a great place to vacation and bring the family....oh that's ...more
By NativeEEnder (5), Hampton Bays on Jul 9, 18 11:00 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Wainscott217 (12), Wainscott on Jul 10, 18 9:37 AM
Hahaha! That’s some funny stuff Frank! Too bad you got absolutely nothing right in that comment. And I mean nothing. But that’s ok, everyone already knows you have a difficult time getting your facts straight. By the way I think I’ve only set foot in NJ for a total of about 6 hours combined in my whole life. Thanks for the laugh, it’s been fun, but I think I’ll head over to Wainscott beach and pick up some trash while on my afternoon run now.
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Jul 10, 18 4:29 PM

Yep. Helicopters are an asset to the east end. One of many crashes that have occurred through the US in 2018. Look up all the NTBS reports on their website....
Tick tic tick tick tock...

https: //wtkr.com/2018/07/08/91-year-old-woman-identified-as-fatality-in-williamsburg-helicopter-crash/
By NativeEEnder (5), Hampton Bays on Jul 10, 18 10:26 AM