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Nov 22, 2011 4:02 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Stanzione Welcomes Airport Debate

Nov 22, 2011 4:26 PM

East Hampton Town Councilman Dominick Stanzione said this week that he welcomes a “vigorous public debate” with anti-noise activists at a December 1 hearing over whether the town should accept grants from the Federal Aviation Administration for capital improvements at East Hampton Airport.

The public hearing is for a proposal for the town to request federal funds for the design and construction of a deer fence around the airport. Last week, members of the Quiet Skies Coalition, an advocacy group, said the hearing is really an attempt by Mr. Stanzione and other members of the board’s Republican majority to settle a debate over whether accepting federal funds, and the grant obligations that come with them, would help or hurt the town’s ability to control noise.

On Tuesday, Mr. Stanzione agreed.

“I’m under no illusion of the larger question involved, and I’m fully confident and supportive of that underlying meaning of the hearing: to put it in plain terms, reaffirming the ongoing relationship with the FAA,” Mr. Stanzione said.

Members of the Quiet Skies Coalition believe grant obligations keep the town from having local control over flights and mitigating noise. Mr. Stanzione and his allies believe trying to impose local restrictions on flights would invite a legal battle with the FAA that would potentially cost millions in legal fees, and millions more in forgone grants from the agency. They have advocated other measures, such as installing a control tower and charting a new route for helicopters.

Anti-noise activists also charged last week that the Town Board was attempting to hold the hearing before two new lawmakers, Sylvia Overby and Peter Van Scoyoc, who side with them, take office in January. Mr. Stanzione said that “a political delay is not in the best interests of our town.”

“This Town Board has worked really hard on this issue and it deserves to have a say in its outcome,” he added.

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To quote the article:
"On Tuesday, Mr. Stanzione agreed.

“I’m under no illusion of the larger question involved, and I’m fully confident and supportive of that underlying meaning of the hearing: to put it in plain terms, reaffirming the ongoing relationship with the FAA,” Mr. Stanzione said.

. . .

Mr. Stanzione said that “a political delay is not in the best interests of our town.”

By PBR (4945), Southampton on Nov 22, 11 8:11 PM
PS -- Did the published notice of this hearing refer to Mr. Stanzione's "underlying meaning" of the 12/1 hearing, and to its real meaning to "reaffirm the ongoing relationship with the FAA?"

If the published notice did not include this apparent pre-judgment, then it was IMO legally insufficient as public notice of the hearing, and therefore,


By PBR (4945), Southampton on Nov 22, 11 8:39 PM
PBR...Do you really need it spelled out for you?? Is that really the best argument that you've to offer? It's rhetorical, PBR just so you know. EVERY PERSON who flies commercial has paid the fees that go to a fund that supports airports like East Hampton Airport all over this country but because of the narrow-minded anti-everything-but-your-personal agenda and damn the greater good of the community we should skip the FAA funds just because you can't see beyond your nose. Man, I'd hate to see ...more
By Pippy (7), Southampton on Nov 24, 11 4:39 PM
1 member liked this comment

Your eyesight and/or reading comprehension could certainly use some improvement.

The basic request made above is that the hearing be postponed so that the new members of the Town Board could participate in the discussion of the FAA funding.

That's it -- pure and simple!

There is NO suggestion that the airport should be closed. None whatsoever, not even a hint!

Plus the airport is a great asset to the entire East End, and will always be.

So ...more
By PBR (4945), Southampton on Nov 25, 11 1:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
Um, aren't you two on the same side of this -- or do I need remedial reading comprehension lessons as well?
By Frank Wheeler (1818), Northampton on Nov 25, 11 1:52 PM
Thanks Frank for the suggestion. If Pippy and I are on the same side of this, then it may be I who needs corrective lenses and reading lessons -- for having missed a higher level of sarcasm.

What a tangled web we weave.
By PBR (4945), Southampton on Nov 25, 11 2:15 PM
I just don't understand what the rush is. Why can't the hearing be postponed until the new town board members are in? Why can't the surplus airport money be used for the deer fence in the meantime? Why can't a study be done of the benefits or lack thereof to noise and traffic reduction with the new trailer (NOT tower) in place before accepting FAA money? Why is all of this being fast-tracked in such a rushed manner? This issue affects thousands of homeowners on Eastern Long Island, not just a few ...more
By Barbara Wainscott (5), Wainscott on Nov 25, 11 4:42 PM
2 members liked this comment
First of all, let's find out who are the principals of the EHAA...I think that will say a LOT about WHO has what to LOSE. this is not about the good of the town, or the residents, its not about tax either. Money is available right now. The airport does not need FAA funding. this is about private interests who BENEFIT from the airport either with aircraft or services, or through cheap landing and parking fees beause of those services. Now, let's get this out in the open BEFORE the meeting...and ...more
By Trish (91), Sag Harbor on Nov 25, 11 5:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
Sorry. There is NO valid reason for a big FAA supported commercial airport within a resort community. Drive here like the rest of us do. Slow down. Go for a hike.

FYI - None of the pro-airport propaganda has even mentioned the passengers, just the puff from the East Hampton Aviation Association... So...who is this group that fears local control of the airport? And why?

By SagHarborBob (91), Sag Harbor on Nov 25, 11 6:59 PM
Right. Like Puffy Daddy flying out in a helicopter for the weekend is so vital to the East End economy.
By JamesB (3), Southampton on Nov 26, 11 5:50 PM
Accepting FAA funding at this point in time is outrageous and under-handed. A sleazy political move to avoid any possible consequences of testing a control tower that BOTH sides of this debate have approved. The airport folks wanted their control tower. They said it would be a solution to the noise. That tower (actually a trailer) should be in place when the heavy season starts next spring.
We already have the money in a dedicated Airport fund to pay for it.
In fact, that money (1.4 million ...more
By Amelia Airport (48), East Hampton on Nov 27, 11 8:47 AM
2 members liked this comment
If the town takes FAA money the issue is over for 20 years and all these Dems lose their big issue, that is what all the crying is about.
By independent observer (34), east hampton on Nov 28, 11 6:36 PM
Actually independent observer (?), you may have missed the runway on this.

If the Town takes the FAA money, the issue is probably over forever. There will NEVER be the chance of local control, as a practical matter.

This may not be a "Dems" issue?

Would you give up the protection of The Dongan Patent over local control of our bays and wetlands?


Well, you seem to be giving up even the possibility of local control of our airspace.

Why? ...more
By Nero (290), Sag Harbor on Nov 28, 11 8:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
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