On the tarmac at the East Hampton Airport
On the tarmac at the East Hampton Airport

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.

“So very disappointing!! Looks like we will continue to be bombarded with noise for a few more weeks!!” said Teresa McCaskie of Mattituck, who has been an active North Fork advocate for the restrictions, in an email blast Tuesday. “I hope that all residents will continue to call the complaints lines to send a strong message: we don’t welcome commercial air traffic bound for the Hamptons as they fly over our homes.”

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.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

One thought on “East Hampton Airport Restrictions Postponed to June 8

  1. Re the FAA: “while the agency develops its position on the issue”. The FAA has been aware of this issue for many years and have done nothing. Now they need more time to think about it. The FAA’s declared aim is first and foremost the “advancement… of civil aviation”, not of the quality of life of those afflicted by aircraft noise. The mere fact that the FAA supported the industry litigants in staying the start of these very modest new regulations tells us what the FAA’s position is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please prove you're human: