Memorial Day Weekend may not be as quiet as many East Enders had hoped.
A series of new noise restrictions at East Hampton Airport, initially slated to go into effect today, have been postponed to June 8, while the town and litigants wait for a federal judge to decide whether to grant an injunction prohibiting the restrictions from going into effect.
U.S. District Court Judge Joanna Seybert is expected to decide by June 8 whether to prevent the town from instating curfews and trip limits on noisy aircraft approaching and departing the airport while a lawsuit filed by pilots and aviation advocates is heard.
Town officials agreed to the delay in court Monday morning, saying it was necessary to respect the legal process, said Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell in a statement Monday.
The town board began last year building a case for taking back local control over their airport after the Federal Aviation Administration was scheduled to stop enforcing a requirement that the town accept all air traffic, as a result of federal grant money received by the airport, as of Jan. 1 of this year.
But the FAA surprised the town earlier this spring by siding with the litigants in supporting their request for an injunction while the agency develops its position on the issue.
Proponents of the noise restrictions were quick to take to the internet to urge each other to keep the pressure on the airport.
Meanwhile, the town is moving forward with consolidating committees it formed to hammer out the restrictions, with plans to form a new nine-member Airport Management Advisory Committee to advise the town board and airport management on aviation issues.
Airport liaison and councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez suggested that the board appoint three members of the aviation community, three members of the “noise-affected” community and three members with a business or legal background.
She said Bonnie Krupinski, Gene Oshrin and Cindy Herbst have agreed to represent aviation interests and David Gruber, Charles Ehren and Pat Trunzo have agreed to represent the noise-affected group.
She recommended Arthur Malman, the current chair of the town’s budget and finance advisory committee, serve as the chair of the new committee, and Munir Saltoun and Peter Wadsworth would also be members.
Ms. Burke-Gonzalez said she will also serve as an ex-officio, non-voting member of the committee, along with airport manager Jemille Charlton and town budget officer Len Bernard.
She said Mr. Malman emailed her a statement this morning that “the purpose of the new committee, in my view, is to bring together a wide spectrum of views, on the supposition that intelligent people of good will would discuss issues and generate well-thought-out, broadly supported recommendations on important airport issues, both immediate and longterm, to ensure a safe and financially sound airport that is responsive to the community’s concerns.”
The board plans to vote on the appointments at its meeting this Thursday, May 21.