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Aug 4, 2015 4:33 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

New East Hampton Airport Fees Expected By Weekend

Aug 4, 2015 4:39 PM

The East Hampton Town Board will tailor its proposal for new landing fees at East Hampton Airport before it is expected to adopt the new fee structure tomorrow night, August 6.

The revised fee structure will set the new charges for aircraft landing and taking off at the airport based on general weight class.

Currently, fees for landing at the airport are set by a variation of categories regarding engine type and weight, with the smallest single-engine propeller planes paying $11, the largest jets that use the airport paying $660 per landing, and the largest helicopters paying $550 on touchdown.

Under the proposed new fee structure, aircraft weighing less than 2,600 pounds will pay no landing fees. Those weighing between 2,600 pounds and 5,000 pounds will pay $25 per landing; it will be $100 for aircraft up to 10,000 pounds, $275 up to 25,000 pounds, $550 up to 50,000 pounds, and $800 for any aircraft topping 50,000 pounds.

The fees will apply to helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft uniformly. Most large helicopters will fall into either the $100- or $275-per-landing brackets.

Additionally, helicopters and jets with a noise signature of above 91 decibels will pay an additional $75 per landing as a “noise management” fee, an additional charge that Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez said is expected to be enough to cover the cost of town’s various noise management programs.

Last month, the board had proposed a new fee structure that set fees based on a more detailed weight assessment, charging each aircraft for each 1,000 pounds of weight. But consultants hired by the town advised that the broader categories would be more equitable and easily managed.

The new fee structures, if adopted on Thursday night, will take effect immediately.

The town is expecting an approximately $212,000 shortfall in budgeted costs for operating the airport this year, due to the need for additional snowplowing last winter and the operation of several new monitoring systems in place at the airport.

But, Ms. Gonzalez noted, when the town crafted its budget last fall, it had been expecting to impose new restrictions intended to reduce the number of operations—like a one-trip-per-week limit on exceptionally loud aircraft—that were blocked in court. So there should be more revenues from landing fees coming in than had been planned for, enough to make up the shortfalls, she said.

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Once again the Town Board has acted without thinking. In their rush to institute the increased fees they eliminated the standard exemptions for locally based aircraft, emergency and medical helicopters, military and Coast Guard aircraft, and non-profit/charity aircraft (ex: AngelFlight, PawsNPilots). So now local pilots will have to pay to land at their OWN airport. Plus if you are an EH resident who needs an emergency medical helicopter to get you to the hospital you either will need to drive yourself ...more
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Aug 5, 15 9:30 AM
Drama Drama Drama !!!

Fiddle Fiddle Fiddle !!!
By Nero (301), Sag Harbor on Aug 5, 15 11:14 AM
I pay to play golf at town owned golf course so why shouldn't a pilot pay to use town owned airport?
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Aug 5, 15 9:47 AM
The new fee structure seems to favor the local fixed-wing aircraft, with free landings for weights under 2,600 lbs.. Curious to see if this apparent olive branch will be acknowledged by local pilots . . .

Per my comment under the other article, it is time for local pilots to choose their bed and bunk-mates, as the out-of-town commercial large noisy choppers do not make good sleeping partners for ANYONE.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 5, 15 11:08 AM
1 member liked this comment
Only a very small number of aircraft are under 2600lbs, and most of those are considered LSAs and LUAs (light sport/utility aircraft - typically fabric covered wings and no doors). Most small single engine prop modern planes like Cessna 182, Cirrus, Piper, Beechcraft, etc. will now be required to pay landing fees. That's no olive branch - that's a kick in the pants. Have you ever seen that gorgeous fully refurbished T-28 Navy trainer that is hangered on the south side? It will now have to pay ...more
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Aug 5, 15 2:51 PM
Thanks for the clarifications.

$100 for the T-28, is that expensive compared to other airports?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 5, 15 4:59 PM
I am not aware of any other GA airport of similar size that charges a landing fee of any amount to their locally based aircraft. PBR since you're good at research, see if you can find any GA airport out there that charges landing fees to aircraft hangered at the field. Or any GA airports that charge landing fees to medical and military aircraft. I'm curious if this is a first. Let me know what you find.
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Aug 6, 15 12:02 AM
Thanks, I will take your word for it on the T-28, but I am guessing that heavier planes DO get charged elsewhere. What does a T-28 weigh, and isn't the wear and tear on the runways and tarmac greater from heavier planes? Are there no up-charges at all at other GA airports for heavier craft, even if locally hangered?

Regarding landing fees for medical and emergency etc. access, the Town Board will hopefully be open to amending its proposed fees to accommodate things like this. The Board ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 6, 15 4:26 AM
PS -- Regarding locally hangered aircraft, presumably their hanger leases cover the issue of landing fees, and would preempt any general landing fee schedule? MVY and ACK seem to charge "all" planes the same fees (and the hanger lease rates seem expensive BTW). Whether locally hangered light aircraft get a pass on landing fees is not clear.

Regarding all these issues, generally, life is getting more expensive, and municipalities are having to charge more for all services. I think the main ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 6, 15 5:29 AM
If change is to be expected, the world pace is increasing, and the mantra is GUTI - why are you and your anti-airport brethren fighting so hard to place extreme restrictions on the airport and revert it to pre-1940s use? How about applying that philosophy to yourselves first.
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Aug 7, 15 12:05 PM
Can someone explain how these small increases add up to $212,000 , with the summer almost over ? Has this board ever heard of economic estimates based on actual projections with real numbers ? What ever happened to the economic viability report on the airport due out last spring? Never happened.
By wmdwjr (76), east hampton on Aug 5, 15 2:50 PM
In five months the town board won't care anymore. Cantwell had his buddy Zeldin tack an 11th hour amendment on next year's FAA budget that excludes EH from the federal law that prohibits them from illegally diverting the airport revenues away from the airport. It made HTO the only airport in the country exempt from that federal statute, and will allow the town board to completely defund the airport by January.
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Aug 5, 15 2:57 PM
" . . . and will allow the town board to completely defund the airport by January."

And therefore close the airport, as you have suggested before?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 5, 15 5:00 PM
I can't think of any other reason why the town board would have Zeldin add a specific exclusion to the FAA funding act that the sole purpose is to prohibit the FAA from instituting a civil or administrative action against the town of EH for "Illegal Diversion of Airport Revenue". Normally the town is required under Federal law to use the airport's own revenue to pay to operate/maintain the airport, and is subject to significant penalties for illegally diverting those funds away from the airport ...more
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Aug 6, 15 12:29 AM
Seems to me you are overthinking this, but I don't know the details of the legislation. Given the Town's interest in distancing itself from the FAA in general, the amendment would seem reasonable and logical IMO.

Could there be evil and nefarious reasons for the move? Sure, but unlikely IMO. There are probably plenty of innocent reasons having to do with local autonomy and control of an airport which has gotten WAY too noisy. Again, without knowing the details of the legislation first-hand, ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 6, 15 3:53 AM
localEH, I have posted your Sikorsky comment from March 2014 under the other article, for your consideration and comment. The last sentence is interesting, as an historical anachronism if nothing else:

localEH: "But closing the whole airport at night is not the solution."

My how times change . . .
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 6, 15 2:41 PM
You research everything, cite obscure sources, and play armchair lawyer every chance you get, but you want us to believe you haven't reviewed the details of this legislation?? Take a few minutes and read it. Pay attention to the statute cited, the terms referenced as being defined by the statute, the heading of the section where those terms are defined ("Recovery of Illegally Diverted Funds"), and what the legislation actually says and creates. Note that it absolutely does NOT do any of the following: ...more
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Aug 7, 15 12:30 PM
Please see comment under the other article.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 7, 15 1:09 PM
PS -- yes the Town Board might have the power to close the airport, but it will not in my personal opinion. You are putting the cart WAY before the horse with your cataclysmic thinking IMO.

Washington should not be running this airport.

We should!
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 7, 15 1:12 PM