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Sep 9, 2014 12:04 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Village Board Adds To Pressure On Town To Resolve Airport Noise Problems

Sep 9, 2014 2:34 PM

The East Hampton Village Board officially asked East Hampton Town last week to stop accepting Federal Aviation Association grants by the end of this year, joining many neighboring municipalities in asking the town to take the step as a way to address noise problems at East Hampton Airport.

The village’s resolution, approved on Thursday, September 4, also stated that the town should “adopt a comprehensive aircraft limitation policy applying to helicopters, jets, seaplanes ... including evening and weekend curfews and all other reasonable airport access restrictions ... immediately after December 31.”

As of now, the airport is partially funded by grant money from the FAA. Because the airport is not completely self-sufficient, the town must receive approval from the FAA in order to implement a mandatory curfew or quota flights, the town’s attorney, Peter Kirsch, said in an interview on Thursday morning.

However, the conditions on four of the grants are due to expire at the end of this year, according to Mr. Kirsch, which would allow the town to begin to further regulate when the airport is used and how frequently aircraft can land and take off.

The Village Board’s resolution follows similar ones in Southampton Town, Shelter Island, Southold, North Haven and other municipalities, many of which were read aloud at a meeting at the LTV Studios in Wainscott at the end of August.

“In recent days, the Town Board had a public hearing as it relates to the airport issue,” said East Hampton Village Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. during Thursday’s meeting. “At that particular time and place, we didn’t want to issue a statement but rather listen to what others had to say. This is a culmination of listening to what others had to say, and we feel like it’s the right thing to do at this time,” the mayor said of the resolution.

Additionally, the resolution requests that the town give the village 60 days notice of any future change in airport policy that may adversely affect village residents.

Mass Gathering Permits

The Village Board also discussed changing the rules for mass gathering permits, which need to be reexamined in light of problems with the Ride to Montauk bike race this past June, said Village Administrator Rebecca Molinaro.

Currently, the code requires a group of 50 or more people to get a mass-gathering permit regardless of where they plan to gather. The proposal would require a separate application if the group plans to assemble anywhere on village property. It would also require those applying for a permit to put down a $250 security deposit and show proof of liability insurance.

“Based on the application, it would be at the discretion of my office if an event warrants public works and police presence. The applicant would be responsible for the additional cost,” said Ms. Molinaro.

The village found itself supplying police officers to monitor the Ride to Montauk, a bike race that ran through the village and town of East Hampton and ended in Montauk. Bicycle Shows U.S., the company organizing the event, did not have a permit for the race, which was expected to draw nearly 3,000 people. The town took the company to court asking for a temporary restraining order to block the event, but eventually withdrew the request. The race went on, but only 1,500 people were permitted to participate.

“After it went to court, the village was reimbursed the money for providing police services during the event,” Ms. Molinaro said, “but this protects the village from that happening again.”

The village’s next step is to put out a notice for a public hearing on the code amendment, said Village Attorney Linda Riley. A public hearing is likely to take place sometime in October.

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Hey, East Hampton Airport and FAA! Make the blasted helicopters fly way out over the ocean and at the required legal height. Too many are insolently buzzing low over the surf line along the beach to give their passengers a great view of the South Fork. The noise they make is offensively loud and spoils the beach for everyone else.
By oystercatcher (126), southampton on Sep 9, 14 2:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
Them chopper cowboys was so low on Saturday I could see that their
Raybans were cheap knock offs.
By we could run this town! (129), the oceanfront trailer park on Sep 9, 14 2:33 PM
1 member liked this comment
Your ignorance about aviation is showing. The vertical visibility/ceiling on Sat stayed between 100ft (airport closed) to 600ft (all traffic has to come in under it to visually see the airport to land). Despite some who would like everyone to believe HTO is a major airport, it doesn't have any ILS systems. They were not low because they wanted to annoy you (surprise, the world does not revolve around you). They were low because they were required to be low for safety and to comply with FAA regs ...more
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Sep 9, 14 3:49 PM
1 member liked this comment
Explain why some helicopters stayed way out to sea and high over the ocean last weekend while flying back and forth, while others, especially some white ones, always shot along fast and low over the breaking surf when heading west. Next weekend I'm writing down their numbers and sending complaint to the FAA.
By oystercatcher (126), southampton on Sep 9, 14 4:17 PM
1 member liked this comment
Happy to explain. Please read FAR Part 91.119 (you can Google it). Per the FAA a fixed wing plane can fly over the beach and ocean at a minimum altitude of 500ft. A helicopter can fly below that minimum altitude so long as it is not a danger (which it is not over the ocean). Now you know that nothing any of those pilots was doing was illegal or in violation of any FAA regulation.
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Sep 9, 14 5:41 PM
We ain't as ignorant as you think out here in the holler. What's really ignorant is putting the convenience of those few people in those helicopters ahead of the thousands of people below who have suffered for years as unregulated 24/7 air traffic has increased. Why not just close the airport when the conditions are that bad? Wouldn't THAT BE EVEN SAFER? And by the way, those helicopter flights were departing not arriving. And one last little detail: their intent to annoy or not is irrelevant. ...more
By we could run this town! (129), the oceanfront trailer park on Sep 9, 14 8:28 PM
Yes there was a whopping 235 people out of more than 100,000 local residents in the east end. That's a minority, an incredibly loud minority but still a minority. How many people use the airport year round, how much money is brought into our local community from those who use the airport, how many local businesses exist because of that income, how many local families are supported by that income. I guarantee you it is exponentially more than 235. The leaders of this minority have openly admitted ...more
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Sep 10, 14 12:01 AM
LocalEH The question asked by oystercatcher about HELICOPTERS, NOT FIXED WING CRAFT was not answered, rather you provided FAA blather.
Read the question again, if you are able please respond. TKS

By Trish (91), Sag Harbor on Sep 9, 14 8:05 PM
TpS please re-d my responsense and the FAR I cited. It clearls says per the FAA there is no minimum altitude for helicopter. Fixed wing aircraftt have minimums. Helicopters do not (other than the general ones stated in the FAR). So helicopters can legally elect to fly at whatever altitude they deem to be safe unlless they are imeedaatey adjacent to the airport, when theeywill fly at whatever altitue is required by the tower. Most pilots will typically not choose to fly low if conditions permit. ...more
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Sep 10, 14 12:29 AM
Chopper industry hubris precedes a fall.

Fasten seat belts.

Prepare for rapid descent!

Brace brace brace.

Fiddle Fiddle Fiddle
By Nero (301), Sag Harbor on Sep 10, 14 6:17 AM
1 member liked this comment
If the weather is that bad they just shouldnt be flying! Thats BS that they have to fly that low when the clouds are low. They never should have flown in the first place. When will we have the crash over someones house! So only 235 showed up however there are more than 10,000 complaints. Airport control needs to be taken back with limited hours and limited slots for helo's. Period. They had a time to be good neighbors yet they persist on destroying the quiet use and enjoyment of peoples homes, people ...more
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Sep 10, 14 6:28 AM
Helicopter noise IS a problem at KHTO.
However, the public has been fed INCORRECT information both about (a) "expiration" of grant assurances; and (b) the consequences if that even occurred.

Even if the FAA settlement with the Committee to Stop Airport Expansion were legally binding, which it is not for a number of reasons, it did NOT provide for the expiration of grant assurances but merely that "Defendant FAA agrees.. that the following (4 out of approximately 25) grant assurances ...more
By Solusipse (8), Sagaponack on Sep 10, 14 3:10 PM
1 member liked this comment