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Mar 3, 2015 12:26 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Hampton Airport Budget Committee Cannot Work Out Impact Of Proposed Regulations

Mar 5, 2015 9:01 AM

A key report on the potential fiscal impact of proposed new restrictions at East Hampton Airport will not be ready in time for a public hearing on Thursday.

Members of the Budget and Finance Advisory Committee had promised the East Hampton Town Board a report on the financial sustainability of the airport, if the new regulations are enacted, in time for the hearing, and most likely at Tuesday’s planned Town Board work session. But its members admitted Tuesday that after working on the issue for weeks, they have not been able to agree on definitive numbers.

“The committee has been unable to reach a consensus on a five-year earnings and cash flow forecast if the proposed rules are implemented,” BFAC Chairman Arthur Malman informed the Town Board in a memo on Monday, March 2.

Mr. Malman said the committee made no judgment on the appropriateness of the proposed airport restrictions. The committee reviewed a possible $5.1 to $8.5 million of capital costs and $550,000 in planning and development over five years, but faced with adding in $3 million for the anticipated costs of litigation related to the new regulations, its members could not agree on the financial impacts of the restrictions and whether the airport could remain self-sufficient. He said “a significant number of members of the committee” believe there are simply too many variables, and more research is needed.

Opponents seized on the committee’s failure to deliver as a sign that the new regulations—which would identify “noisy” aircraft and impose new restrictions and curfews, essentially eliminating helicopter traffic in the summer—should be rejected.

“The finance committee’s refusal to sign off on this deeply misguided proposal confirms the true economic hazards of the plan and the Town Board’s blatant disregard for these risks,” said Loren Riegelhaupt, who heads the Friends of the East Hampton Airport Coalition. “The airport’s future and the town’s financial health are on the line, and when you can’t get your own budget committee to sign off on a plan, shouldn’t it give pause and force everyone to reassess?

“We call on the board to postpone any vote on these restrictions so the people of East Hampton can get a full and fair analysis of what these restrictions mean for our community, property taxes, local businesses and economy,” he added.

As of Tuesday, the Town Board still expected to hold a public hearing on the four resolutions that would place restrictions on operations at the airport to combat noise. The restrictions would include a ban on all helicopters on weekends and a nighttime curfew during the summer months. The hearing will be held at a Town Board meeting on Thursday, March 5, at 4:30 p.m. at LTV Studios in Wainscott.

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This PR flack from New Jersey is clueless. Putting proper restrictions in place will actually SAVE the airport. It should have been done years ago. Want to see the airport closed? Do nothing. Go back to New Jersey and take all your carpet bagging aviation companies with you.
By Amelia Airport (48), East Hampton on Mar 3, 15 1:10 PM
The people who are trying to save the airport are LOCALS! It's people who use the airport recreationally year round and whose jobs and local businesses depend on it. It's amazing the extremes you anti airport people will go to just to get your hands on the airport land to develop for your own personal profit. You keep blowing smoke to make its seem like it's about outsiders but that's not the truth.
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Mar 4, 15 10:07 AM
1 member liked this comment
This is BS. Very few locals benefit financially from the airport and almost none will suffer from having restrictions in place. Meanwhile thousands suffer from constant noise. Noise made by out of town pilots, out of town aviation companies and commuters who will find another way to get here if they can't fly.
By Amelia Airport (48), East Hampton on Mar 7, 15 4:29 PM
Jersey? I’m a local here, born and raised…..speaking from Wainscott… And I am a local business owner… We need the airport. If the airport did not exist I promise you my business would not exist, and I am not based at the airport…. My local business survives by such a slight margin. Any reduction in traffic would put me out of business. I wonder what you do…. My assumption is nothing out here….except try to waste your time by complaining
By kevinlocal (47), wainscott on Mar 10, 15 9:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
“Very few locals benefit financially from the airport” Really? The real estate market is higher than it has ever been…. Foolish
By kevinlocal (47), wainscott on Mar 10, 15 9:49 PM
1 member liked this comment
Uh oh, looks like the 99% are going to lose again.
By Moni (12), Est Hampton on Mar 3, 15 1:24 PM

" ... $3 million for the anticipated costs of litigation related to the new regulations ... "

This is the signally important datum in the story. As has become customary in America when a well-heeled special interest group seeks to assert its own agenda over the interests of the commonweal, legal procedural extortion is employed to achieve its ends.

If East Hampton Town would just roll over and submit, ...more
Mar 3, 15 1:31 PM appended by highhatsize
. . . [t] confident. How will they respond in future elections to complaints by constituents that town expenses have risen so dramatically (while ignoring the fact that the increase occurred in the defense of the MAJOR FAMILIAL ASSET of those constituents, their homes, and their RIGHT to their quiet enjoyment thereof?)
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Mar 3, 15 1:31 PM
Three million will be a joke if these restrictions go into place! Do you really think people who pay hundreds of millions of dollars to have a place to reach quickly will drive! Wrong… Newport, Nantucket Martha’s Vineyard, or back to West Hampton they go… along with all their money….
By kevinlocal (47), wainscott on Mar 10, 15 9:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
How could 7 million dollars worth of capital improvements been "overlooked" by the BFAC, when they were repeatedly (and I do mean over and over and over again!) discussed as necessary to maintain the safety of the airport for its users and the surrounding community? Please.
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Mar 3, 15 1:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
Just raise airport fees and taxes sufficiently to offset any potential litigation expenses.
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Mar 3, 15 4:14 PM
This is more propaganda and smoke screen. The airport subcommittee is comprised of aviation members and those who wish to mitigate aircraft noise. At the 11th hour, the aviation committee members have decided to stymie the process in an effort to give the illusion the airport can not be self sustaining. The citizens of East Hampton have a right to peace and quiet. We own the airport and it is an asset only if it serves the community and doesn't negatively impact our environment and neighbors in ...more
By mcgrawkeber (47), East Hampton on Mar 3, 15 4:48 PM
2 members liked this comment
Not all of us. In fact most of the locals support it! Sorry we all have jobs and can’t show up at 10am board meetings or work sessions on Tuesday to disagree.
By kevinlocal (47), wainscott on Mar 10, 15 9:54 PM
2 members liked this comment
I hope no one is believing this. The Budget and Finance committee consist of men and women who are smarter than this. Although they claim not to be political many of them are. They are simply listening to what some Town Board members and money backers wanted them to say. I am disappointed in them and some of the Town Board members. I don't happen to be bothered by the airport noise, but I am tired of seeing the wrong this happen for the wrong reasons!
By disappointed (96), wainscott on Mar 3, 15 5:13 PM
This reads as a very one-sided and therefore shocking piece of unbalanced journalism. May I suggest you check sources-- other than paid spokespeople for the aviation sources- and then print the entire story including a retraction of sloppy reporting.

I look forward to reading the corrected piece. This one has an extremely unpleasant odor, to say the very least.
By Trish (91), Sag Harbor on Mar 3, 15 5:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
“Check sources” Please do!!!! The town’s own anti-airport committee can’t agree!!!! A bunch of fools. The next thing they will be trying to push is to close the tower or to fire the town employPes to make their numbers w rk….aWe need the airport, and we need FAA funds to help support it so the burden doesn’t fall on the local taxpayer…….
By kevinlocal (47), wainscott on Mar 10, 15 9:59 PM
1 member liked this comment
Yes, only listen to the paid sources from the other side,
By nazznazz (276), east hampton on Mar 3, 15 5:31 PM
2 members liked this comment
there are no paid sources on the other side---just thousands of volunteer hours...check your info or become part of the propaganda machine paid for by the aviation special interests. they have been at it for years---business as usual. Fiction versus fact---they excel at it.
By Trish (91), Sag Harbor on Mar 5, 15 10:36 AM
Sure, Kathleen Cunningham is not a paid consultant for David Gruber....... I Doubt it?

And thousands????????? Try just a few that have nothing to do but complain all day, get a job…..
By kevinlocal (47), wainscott on Mar 10, 15 10:01 PM
2 members liked this comment
Why are we paying for rich guy runways? Let the people who use it pay for it.
Either that or just close the damn thing. Silly.
By we could run this town! (129), the oceanfront trailer park on Mar 3, 15 5:44 PM
You don’t have to pay for it. The FAA has funds available to make it self-sufficient. Just accept them, they help everyone.
By kevinlocal (47), wainscott on Mar 10, 15 10:03 PM
1 member liked this comment
JohnPiasecki whose father invented the twin rotor helicopter told me that there are ways to reduce significantly helicopter noise. Helicopters can use shorter and more blades. The Piaseckis run a helicopter research and development firm in Philadelphia. Talk to them.
By RANGER66 (15), WESTHAMPTON BEACH on Mar 3, 15 8:34 PM
I haven't been following the airport debate very closely but what I read in the Press today indicates that the proposed regs don't impact the average recreational pilot. Why is there such strong opposition from recreational aviators if that is true?
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Mar 4, 15 9:29 AM
1 member liked this comment
You have to look at the big picture. The goal of the regs is to financially damage the airport to the point where it can no longer be self sufficient or maintained and will be required to be closed with in 2-3 years. The people who have proposed the regs are all in the real estate industry (development/investment/sale) and want the airport land which is worth over $1 Billion. They have publicly admitted many times they want to develop the land for their personal profit. This is not about noise - ...more
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Mar 4, 15 10:28 AM
3 members liked this comment
Local EH has been hitting the crack pipe again. There is no agenda to close the airport. Ask any town board member. It simply is not an option at this time. It is a ruse perpetrated by those who profit from the airport and has been swallowed whole by small pilots.
People all over the east end simply want their peaceful weekends back. However, if these regulations aren't put in place there may very well be an outcry to close the airport.
By Amelia Airport (48), East Hampton on Mar 4, 15 5:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
Ask any town board member David Gruber doesn't own . . .
By nazznazz (276), east hampton on Mar 5, 15 6:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
You add nothing of substance to this conversation nazznazz. There is no logical argument against regulating air traffic into and out of East Hampton airport so you resort to character assassination? The last resort off the desperate. The time is here for meaningful restrictions at East Hampton Airport.
By we could run this town! (129), the oceanfront trailer park on Mar 8, 15 4:51 AM
Local Pilots were given their own advisory committee more than a year ago so that they could address airport issues. THEY NEVER EVEN BOTHERED TO MEET! Instead they have decided to stay on the outside and shoot surface to air missiles at a fair and reasonable process that has been worked over this past year. Why did they not take the opportunity to advocate for their airport? Every single Noise Abatement Sub Committee meeting was open to the public. Who is hiding here?
By Amelia Airport (48), East Hampton on Mar 8, 15 11:32 AM
David Gruber......... everyone knows it...
By kevinlocal (47), wainscott on Mar 10, 15 10:11 PM
The airport is a Very complicated issue, there are current abuses that need to be address, as well as to increase the advantages that the airport gives easthampton.
The fight is being waged by the too far extremes
Let the airport do what ever it wants
I am here so close the airport and let them all drive
Somewhere in the middle is the most beneficial path
This reminds me of all the other times in Easthampton we have needed to control the pace and type of growth we ...more
By Mtk-john (1), Montauk on Mar 14, 15 3:13 PM