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East Hampton Town
Democratic Committee


 
 

Blue-Ribbon Aviation Committee
 
 

February 12, 1998

MEMORANDUM
 

From:  Barry Leach, Member

To:  Blue Ribbon Airport Commission

Subj:  Alternate Viewpoint
 
 
 

Runway 10/28

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 the "airport creep" we are experiencing can be immediately halted by disallowing a 100' wide main runway.  No precision approaches exist anywhere to runways with widths less than 100'.  For safety's sake, repairs can inexpensively and quickly be made to the transverse cracks cited in official reports and retain the current width of 75'.  After which a special sealer designed specifically for airport runways can be applied to the full length giving added protection for years to come at a nominal cost.  The proposed "enhancements" are in contrast to what I believe is the rural and pastoral character of East Hampton Town. 
I believe that the instrument approaches currently available are sufficient to support airport's such as ours that wish to retain its small airport (Category A/B) status.  The Town should not pursue installation of a precision instrument approach in the interests of lesser air traffic, different noise footprints and the failure to meet any cost/benefit analysis.    

Landing Fees 

 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.

Firefighting

 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.

The Plan

 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.

The Players

 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.  
 Tri-State Engineering, on the other hand, has, all along, been forthcoming and neutral in its' opinion and has provided unbiased advice giving both the ups and downs in every project proposal.  Future analyses should be given to this firm.
 Airport management needs to be more aggressive in tracking income and expenses by a more acceptable method of accounting procedure.  This should include an exact day-by-day total of whether it is in the red or in the black just like a business.  Accounting should include monies received and spent in taxes on hangars, fuel, salaries, etc.