The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied the Town of East Hampton’s petition for certiorari, which had asked the court to uphold the town’s three local laws limiting aircraft noise at East Hampton Airport and to overturn the decision of Second Circuit Court of Appeals holding the laws preempted by federal statute.
The town’s airport restrictions, which were struck down by the appellate court on Nov. 5, 2016 included a mandatory nighttime curfew, from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., an extended curfew on noisy aircraft from 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. and a limit on operations by noisy aircraft of one trip per week during the summer season.
“The town board is deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court’s order not to review the Second Circuit decision, which strips municipal airports like East Hampton’s of their traditional proprietary powers to limit airport noise. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court gave serious consideration to our petition, ordering a response from the plaintiffs, as it does in only a small number of cases,” said Supervisor Larry Cantwell in a statement Monday afternoon. “The denial of a petition for certiorari has no precedental force, and does not mean that the Supreme Court has taken any view on the correctness of the Second Circuit decision.”
“Despite the outcome of this litigation, the town board will continue its efforts to find solutions to the problem of airport noise in our community, both through our elected representatives in Congress and through the onerous FAA Part 161 process,” added Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez, the town board’s liaison to the airport. “We will not and can not stop fighting to regain local control of our municipal airport. The federal government, and in particular the FAA, is incapable of managing the Airport in the best interests of our community. We need local control in order to bring the much needed relief from aircraft noise.”