|East Hampton Town
Blue-Ribbon Aviation Committee
February 12, 1998
From: Barry Leach, Member
To: Blue Ribbon Airport Commission
Subj: Alternate Viewpoint
I understand that a 100' main runway is a strategic
and integral part of an airport expansion or enhancement plan. Its'
criticality is based on minimum FAA requirements for installation of a
precision approach (either ILS or precision GPS) and also for the servicing
of larger Category C and D aircraft on a more continuous basis. Adverse
weather would no longer present a problem. With an installation of
any precision approach system would be the requirement for an approach
lighting system (ALS) consisting of high-intensity sequential lead-in lights
and higher intensity runway lighting than exist today. Additionally,
larger clear zones would need to be established at the easternmost and
westernmost ends of 10/28 in order to comply with FAA obstruction clearance
guidelines. On the easternmost side, Daniel's Hole Road was identified
by the FAA in 1990 and by C&S Engineering in 1994 as an obstruction
to arriving aircraft to runway 28. To date, no effort has been initiated
by airport management to mitigate the problem. Only 2 options are
available: 1) move the road (not desirable) or 2) create a
displaced threshold for runway 28 of 760' as directed by the FAA and as
recommended by C&S Engineering. Failure to do anything jeopardizes
the Town's insurance rating and creates a direct and substantial liability
to the Town should anything ever happen between a car on Daniel's Hole
Road and an aircraft. The argument presented saying that a displaced
threshold would increase noise is a red herring. It simply isn't
so. On the westernmost side land would need to be purchased in the
Town of Southampton for installation of lead-in lighting. On both
sides, substantial tree clearing is required.
I believe that aircraft based at East Hampton airport should not have to pay added landing fees. I also believe that training flights from schools not based at East Hampton are on the rise. It's my opinion that East Hampton should increase landing fees for all non-East Hampton based aircraft landing or practicing touch-and-goes similar to those that exist at Farmingdale, NY. The fee increase would be more of a financial deterrent than a source of revenue.
There exists a lack of immediate fire/rescue response capability at the airport. Coordination should be made at the earliest opportunity with nearby fire departments and the Town for basing fire suppression apparatus at the airport.
Which plan is the current airport plan describing the future of our airport will be different depending who is being asked. Notwithstanding its' more recent date the 1994 Airport Update Plan is not the valid plan for our airport due to its' non-conformity with SEQRA review, lack of public input, and lack of formal adoption by the Town Board. Therefore, the 1989 Airport Layout Plan is the only formally adopted, environmentally reviewed document/plan for the East Hampton Airport at this time.
C&S Engineering has played a critical
part in the preparation of plans and has been enthusiastic about providing
advise to Town Board members. Their advice, in my opinion, has been
more like a sales pitch and has caused much confusion and is in large part
a reason we find ourselves in this spot. I would recommend that the
Town discontinue any further discussions with C&S and look for another
firm for advice.