Pictured above: The FAA’s charts of helicopter transitions over the North Fork en route to East Hampton.

Editor’s Note: The time of this public forum has been changed by the town to 7 p.m. to respect those celebrating the holiday of Rosh Hashanah. An earlier version of this post had listed the time as 6 p.m.

The Eastern Region Helicopter Council has agreed to a public forum on helicopter noise on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. at Riverhead Town Hall.

Riverhead Town Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith requested the meeting with the New Jersey-based non-profit, which has been instrumental in determining flight paths of aircraft flying over the East End of Long Island.

According to a press release from the supervisory, “helicopter noise has been an issue that has affected Riverhead for over a decade now, making it impossible for many residents to have a conversation outdoors. Helicopters tend to fly repeatedly over the same areas, creating a parade of overhead flights. Many of these aircraft fly so low that they rattle homes, even causing objects on walls to fall off.”

“I encourage all residents who have been affected by helicopter noise to attend this meeting, and let your voice be heard,” said Ms. Jens-Smith. “For too long, the residents of Riverhead and the East End have had their quality of life damaged by the constant helicopter fly vers. This is an opportunity for residents to express just how much these policies have harmed them.”

“Our quality of life is being destroyed because helicopters
transition over our area rather than taking a few extra minutes to fly around Orient,” said Riverhead Councilwoman Catherine Kent, who serves as the town board liaison to the Helicopter Noise Task Force. “Since they are heading to the South Shore, the best solution is to require an all-water route over the Atlantic Ocean.”

The Town encourages all those interested in this issue to be heard at this question and answer meeting.

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

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