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East Hampton Town
Democratic Committee


 
 

To Mr. Mark Ward, Northwest, East Hampton

Mr. Ward,

  I too, live north of East Hampton airport.  This summer has been unusual in that the prevailing winds have been predominantly from the east.  As such, runway 10 has gotten the lion share of use.  This runway usage has procedures that call for aircraft to make left turns after departure and thus end up over the northwest area of town (us).  Normally, with a prevailing westerly wind this traffic would be over Southampton and over Route 27.  Your interest in high altitude aircraft has hitherto not been seen as problematic due, in large measure, to the fact that they are well over 2 miles (11,000 feet) above and frequently as high as 6 miles above. The noise issue of these aircraft has been seen as quite insignificant compared to local traffic.  The Hampton VOR, a navigation station located in Bridgehampton is a key component of overhead enroute traffic.  Aircraft going to and from virtually every east coast destination can, and do, use it
for a route waypoint.  This includes:  Boston, Providence, Groton, Bangor, Kennedy, Philadelphia, Miami, and hundreds of other domestic and international destinations.  The likelihood of a major route realignment that will discontinue the use of the Hampton VOR is zero.

    As lovely as Vermont is, I wouldn't trade my East Hampton home for anything.  There is no finer place and no finer people than the full timers here in the Hamptons.  I've been to alot of places and East Hampton, by far, is the best and will be the place I will call home forever.  Our task,
therefore, is to somehow mitigate, or at least address, our current noise problem.  Airport management has not been involved in educating local and visiting pilots of various "noise abatement procedures" that could help the airport 
be a better neighbor.  Nor has airport management taken a look at ways to confine noise events to daytime hours with a noise penalty ($$) for nighttime jet operations.  In fact, airport management was against imposition of a fee for transient aircraft practicing take-offs and landings.  This resulted in East Hampton Airport and Islip MacArthur Airport's being the only airports on Long Island that do not charge this fee and has had the predictable results of attracting student pilots island-wide to practice here for free.  They do not buy gas here nor do they park and spend money in town.  Yet we are penalized with their noise and inexperienced flying.  It's not the airport itself that's the problem (although some people may differ);  it's the incapable airport management that is largely to blame along with the East Hampton Aviation Association whose only goal in life has been to support expanded airport operations at every opportunity under the guise of flight safety.  The East Hampton Aviation Association is composed mostly of Southampton Town residents who base their aircraft at East Hampton.   The Town Board, not being aviation experts, needs to rely on their airport manager as the resident expert.  They have been let down.  We have been let down.

    The Town Board has designated Councilwoman Pat Mansir as their airport liaison.  Send your concerns to her also.  She needs to take a more proactive role in addressing airport noise issues.  She can only understand the full scope of the effects of airport noise if residents, like you, write and tell her personally of your specific issue.  Don't lose hope.  This is a problem that CAN be fixed.  With a little vision and with a dedicated airport manager and an agressive noise abatement plan we can co-exist.  It takes a degree of education and reasonableness on both sides before the solution will be found.  Hang in there and I hope to here from you soon.

Sincerely,

Barry Leach