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Jul 17, 2012 5:55 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Activisits Sound Off On Noise Reduction Claims At East Hampton Airport

Jul 17, 2012 6:04 PM

Anti-noise activists who have advocated for reducing helicopter traffic at the East Hampton Airport denounced a recent town press release that claims helicopter noise has gone down since last year.

The press release in question, written by Airport Manager Jim Brundige, asserts that ground-level noise has fallen since last year because helicopters are flying at higher altitudes. Altitudes increased from an average of 2,300 feet to 2,900 feet, Mr. Brundige said.

Helicopter arrivals and departures are also down, he stated. In the first half of 2012, they decreased by 34 percent from last year, and the numbers are 43 percent lower than the first half of 2010.

“Finally, there have been some reports the control tower is only concerned with safety, and not noise abatement,” Mr. Brundige stated in the release. “Such is not the case … There is no question that our controllers are working hard to mitigate noise in neighborhood communities.”

The Quiet Skies Coalition, an anti-noise group, fired back with its own press release on Monday.

“We were expecting airport propagandists to mount a disinformation campaign insisting that the tower is addressing noise abatement, in complete contrast to what was publicly and authoritatively stated at the [June 30] informational meeting by the air controllers themselves,” said Kathleen Cunningham, the chairwoman of the group. “We were surprised, however, that the disinformation campaign was begun by Mr. Brundige.”

The coalition’s release also pointed out that Mr. Brundige doesn’t address noise from other aircraft besides helicopters, such as “jets, seaplanes and touch and goes.” They also criticized Mr. Brundige for providing no noise measurement data on which he bases his claims.

According to Mr. Brundige in the release, an automated noise complaint hotline received 1,127 noise complaints from 94 different households in June. Of those, five homes filed 610 noise complaints—or about half of the total month’s claims. Twenty homes filed about 80 percent of the complaints, he stated.

East Hampton Town Councilman Dominick Stanzione said the early results are “encouraging” since the town installed an air traffic control tower at the site.

“Facts are facts,” he said. “Helicopter noise is significantly less this year in than in the last two years. Altitudes are higher and there were fewer helicopter flights. The new tower will help produce even better results. Is there more work to do? Absolutely. The control tower is an important new tool in our toolbox.”

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Mr. Brundige's press release offers false statements. Dominick Stanzione, Mr. Brundige, a fellow from the FAA, and another person in attendance at the meeting held at the airport terminal PRIOR to the operation of the tower, distinctly announced the tower was NEVER meant to mitigate noise and was only for the purpose of safety. That meeting and their comments was recorded. There is no disputing what they said. The helicopters, seaplanes, turbo jets and props are in abundance. Far more than ...more
By mcgrawkeber (47), East Hampton on Jul 17, 12 8:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
Who approved the press release? I'm sure Jim Brundige did not send it on his own without some kind of approval.

Was it sent on Town Board letterhead? Airport letterhead? Was it approved by all the Town Board members? One Town Board member? Is their a rogue Town Board member? Is it a rogue airport manager? Were there statistics or sound monitoring data? The number of operations are not necessarily a measure of noise.
By settherecordstraight (16), springs on Jul 17, 12 10:53 PM
It was on the letterhead of the airport manager...
By mcgrawkeber (47), East Hampton on Jul 25, 12 2:33 PM
Mr. Brundige is hereby appointed Head Conductor of the "Fiddle While East Hampton Burns" orchestra, which will perform the world premier of the new opera "Stanzione's Folly" at the East Hampton airport on Friday afternoon from 5 PM to 7 PM, rain or shine. The deafening roar of the incoming and departing aircraft will provide a random and avant-garde backdrop to the music, if one can hear it.

"Stanzione's Folly" is a brilliant new work, composed over a period of years it would appear, and ...more
By Nero (301), Sag Harbor on Jul 18, 12 7:10 AM
2 members liked this comment
Peace and quiet has come to Northwest Woods. Since the Control Tower began operations, helicopter noise has disappeared from the area. If you have doubts, call your friends and relatives in Northwest Woods to verify what I have said.
By FactChecker (21), East Hampton on Jul 18, 12 8:33 AM
1 member liked this comment
You're a devious and sneaky one FactChecker! The truth is that the control tower had nothing to do with it! Dominick Stanzione just commanded the control tower staff to use the "Power line to Jessup's Neck route for ALL of the inbound and outbound helicopters. All of the Northern Route noise burden is now over Southampton Town. That's not noise abatement - it's politics at it's utter worst.
By SagHarborBob (91), Life is Good on Jul 25, 12 2:29 PM
2 members liked this comment
Again, recorded for all to hear...the tower has NOTHING to do with noise abatement. It never was intended to per every person who spoke at the meeting. Since I live in the Northwest Woods and have endured three years of non-stop increasing traffic of every kind of aircraft, I know the truth about the activity. Today I have peace and quiet and have had it for a few days, albeit the occasional and nice sound of a plane in the distance...but why? Not because the tower is working to control noise ...more
By mcgrawkeber (47), East Hampton on Jul 25, 12 2:55 PM
Take the FAA money ... amazing how 25 people, David Gruber and the public meeting Dem cabal attenders can create a stir and headlines among 21,000 residents ....
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Jul 18, 12 8:23 PM
It's not so simple...why give up the right to something you own when you can do better without a massive government agency who doesn't regard our community and is only concerned with aviation and nothing else? The FAA will tie us up for twenty years...when the aircraft noise and traffic is too much for you to bear...it will be too late. We're on the edge as it is right now.
By mcgrawkeber (47), East Hampton on Jul 25, 12 3:00 PM
I am one of the residents who repeatedly called and logged in complaints of helicopter, turbo props, jets, seaplanes, and all other winged aircraft as they flew over our home in succession due to the flight pattern that was changed three years ago. We do NOT live near the airport and purchased our land thirty years ago and built our home here because it was away from all noise.
The reason I don't have the barrage of aircraft noise now is because Councilman Dominick Stanzione and airport manager ...more
By mcgrawkeber (47), East Hampton on Jul 25, 12 2:44 PM
The meeting called before the tower was operational was recorded by a member of QSC. Each person who spoke specifically said the tower has NOTHING to do with noise abatement. Loud and clear: THE TOWER HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH NOISE ABATEMENT. Mr. Brundige, Mr. Stanzione, representatives of the FAA and the tower company: You all stated the tower has nothing to do with noise control. Please do not continue to lie to the public in the media. We have the proof for anyone who wishes to hear it!
By mcgrawkeber (47), East Hampton on Jul 25, 12 2:46 PM