East Hampton, NY Plans Multiple Airport Restrictions
Goal Is Less Noise In The Exclusive Enclave
The town board of East Hampton on New York's Long Island has introduced restrictions on use of the local airport in an effort to reduce noise in the exclusive enclave.
If the language in a news release is any indication, it appears that at least some on the board have already made up their minds on the issue. "The East Hampton Town Board today considered a local law designed to relieve the long-suffering residents of the East End from aircraft noise," the release says.
Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez has proposed that the Town implement four restrictions on the use of the East Hampton Airport:
- A mandatory nighttime curfew, from 11pm to 7am
- An extended curfew on noisy aircraft, from 8pm to 9am
- A ban on all helicopters on weekends during the summer season
- A limit on operations by noisy aircraft of one trip (one arrival and one departure) per week during the summer season.
The release goes on to say that the proposed local law follows several years of analyses, studies, public outreach and community meetings, technical outreach and discussions with stakeholders. The Town also appointed several citizens committees to assist in this effort. The latest technical analysis, which was presented at today’s Town Board Work Session, showed that the four proposed restrictions are closely tailored to the Town’s needs, are no more restrictive than absolutely necessary, and are based upon objective data that supports the restrictions. These restrictions could substantially reduce the number of aircraft noise complaints while having a modest effect on the use of the Airport. Harris Miller Miller & Hanson (HMMH) reports that, combined, the four proposed rules would restrict types of aircraft at the times of the day, week, and year that are associated with the greatest number of complaints. HMMH estimates that the four proposed rules will affect only 31% of all operations, while addressing 74% of all complaints.
“The Town Board recognizes the value of the East Hampton Airport to the community and does not want to impose any greater restriction than is necessary to achieve the Town’s objectives,” stated Burke-Gonzalez.
“Our next step is to have the BFAC (Budget & Financial Advisory Committee) analyze the proposed legislation to ensure that the Airport remains financially sustainable and is able to meet its capital needs. This is the very job that the BFAC Subcommittee was appointed to do. We expect to have those results before we vote to notice the legislation for public hearing, which is currently planned for the Tuesday, February 10 Work Session.”
The Long Island news site Newsday reports that the town board gained the authority to make such regulations when parts of the city's contract with the FAA expired January 1. If the restrictions are enacted, the airport would become ineligible for any further federal AIP grants. The town officials say that the airport can be self-sustaining and operate without federal money.
The town board is expected to hold a final vote on the issue in mid March.