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Aug 21, 2019 9:27 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Hampton Airport Traffic Increasing Again This Year

Aircraft traffic is up 7.5 percent at East Hampton Airport this year even though helicopter flights were down slightly until July.    MICHAEL WRIGHT
Aug 23, 2019 10:07 AM

Flights into and out of East Hampton Airport were up 7.5 percent in the first half of 2019 and are on track to climb by 10 percent by the end of the year.

Helicopters continued to make up about 30 percent of the overall traffic at the airport and were down slightly overall for they year to date — though they increased by 7 percent in July, with 146 more helicopter flights last month than in July 2018.

Most of the overall increase in traffic this year is due to flights by "general aviation" aircraft — privately owned small propeller-driven planes — which have increased by 18 percent this year. Airport manager Jim Brundige told Town Board members on Tuesday, that increase in such flights may simply be due to better weather on weekends this year, because last year saw several weekends of the summer beset by poor weather that kept hobbiest pilots grounded.

Mr. Brundige also said that the first two weeks of August saw a more than 26 percent spike in overall traffic, compared to the same period last year. If the increased volume continues apace the airport will see a 10 percent increase in overall traffic for the year, he added.

Traffic at the airport has grown modestly since the Great Recession and actually declined slightly in 2018 compared to 2017. But at the same time, the number of flights by helicopters has soared, up by more than 50 percent since 2016, the last year town-imposed curfews were in place.

Residents of neighborhoods in Southampton, East Hampton and on the North Fork have continued to lobby the East Hampton Town Board to start work on a plan to close the airport in 2021, when federal grant requirements expire.

“I have a bull’s-eye on my house,” said North Fork resident John McCaskie, who came to speak at the Town Board meeting on Tuesday. He read off the times that helicopters flew over his house between 6:50 a.m. and 8 a.m. on a recent Monday morning — 24 in all. He added, “I’m asking that when you get control of your airport that you close it.”

The town has been working on crafting an application to the Federal Aviation Administration seeking permission to reimpose curfews and make other restrictions that could dial back aircraft traffic. The town is also lobbying lawmakers for legislative relief if the FAA declines. If all else fails, town lawmakers have warned, the sentiment of residents could lead to a closure — although current Town Board members have said they are not in favor of closing the airport.

“We are certainly sympathetic to this issue and we are trying to get ahold of it,” Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said.

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When the airport closes, everyone can thank the local pilots for their stubborn lack of vision, in missing the fact that the growing chopper and big jet noise would DOOM the airport to closure. [IMO]

If they had seem this coming, might they have chosen NOT to lie down with noisy dogs, only to wake up with fleas?

A self-created hardship, unfortunately.

By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 22, 19 1:55 PM
Clearly you actually love helicopters PBR, so much that you want more and more to fly overhead. Your short sighted demands to close the airport will be fully responsible for increasing the number of low flying helicopters overhead by over 200%! I know it's hard for you to comprehend physics but... helicopters don't need airports or runways. Right now 30% of the traffic are helicopters, which means 70% are fixed wing aircraft and airport use is increasing. If you close the runways, those couple hundred ...more
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Aug 22, 19 4:51 PM
Motor vehicle exhaust smells bad and causes respiratory diseases. Internal combustion engines create harmful noise pollution.
By Aeshtron (431), Southampton on Aug 22, 19 3:54 PM
Wind turbines are built using rare earths, the dirtiest, most destructive minerals on earth to mine and refine, tons of ore are required to be processed with extremely toxic chemicals for a single precious ounce.

To top it off, child labor is often used to perform this horrific, nasty job.

The "internal combustion engine" is a topic on which you are utterly ignorant, and should remain silent on if you don't want to project your lack of knowledge to the world.

Today's engines ...more
By MoronEliminator (215), Montauk on Aug 22, 19 10:14 PM
Moron Eliminator -- Your rudeness in spreading falsehoods is amusing, try being kind, you'll feel better about yourself : )

You are absolutely correct about rare earth minerals. They are in cell phones, TV's, catalytic converters, solar panels, gasoline refineries and wind turbines.

According to the US census, the US population in 1970 was 205 million. The official US census population clock currently reads 329.45 million. 329.45/2= ?

Internal combustion engines emit ...more
By Aeshtron (431), Southampton on Aug 23, 19 12:22 PM
It seems like even though the volume of flights has increased, the noise is less annoying than it was a couple of summers ago. I attribute this to a shift from helicopters to seaplanes. (Blade app seems to have altered their business to improve the noise issue.) I dont mind hearing small prop planes while I'm in my backyard. The noisy choppers are awful.
By bridgewoodsmom (14), bridgehampton on Aug 22, 19 4:21 PM
PBR, the airport will stay. It is a big part of the character of Easthampton. A village on the ocean, estates, rich people, cottages, summer homes and access by air. What could be better...
The helipad in SHV is a disaster waiting to happen...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Aug 22, 19 6:01 PM
Arrogance and a complete lack of leadership is the cause of the helicopter issue. If the helicopter council, Jeff Smith I believe would lobby all operators to be good citizens by slowing down to 70-80 knots when approaching Northville tanks and climb to 3000 - 4000 feet on approach to 10, you would hardley hear them. Choice 2 is to only use the Atlantic Route. Choice 3 is to fly around Orient Point and come in over the Sag Harbor Golf Course, the least populated route. Then this conversation would ...more
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Aug 23, 19 9:06 AM
Actually, helicopter business will dramatically increase since they will be the sole source of air travel out here. They don't need the airport, so closing it doesn't affect them. They will just triple their fleet and pick up the other 70% of the market. Landing points will be Westhampton, Southampton, Sag Harbor, Montauk, and eventually East Hampton/Springs. But you do have a point about the routes. What would you say to a mandatory inbound route that comes up the middle of the island, crosses ...more
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Aug 23, 19 11:19 AM
Oh and in case the article wasn't clear, the main increase in complaints this season is because of the use of the Atlantic route. The data shows nearly 50% of the helicopter transits are in fact using the Atlantic route (a.k.a. Sierra Route) at the request of the North Forkers. However this has resulted in a doubling of the complaints by people in Sagaponack now. As we've pointed out repeatedly, unintended consequences are a real concern and crafting a solution is not as easy as some think.
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Aug 23, 19 11:23 AM
I heard a Eastern Region Helicopter council representative was at the AMAC meeting in East Hampton last week and was asked why the Helicopters don`t fly around Orient Point as Chuck Schumur originally called for years ago, and why fly over 20 miles of residential communities, he was told that the ocean is 2.25 miles from airport and 2.5 miles from the bay. Ready for a great answer. He said "I don`t have a answer" I agree with Supervisor Scott Russel and to "close the damn airport"
By shredman (11), Northville on Aug 23, 19 5:49 PM
Starts Thursday night. Heard and saw thirteen aircraft in the course of three hours last Thursday over Wooleys Pond. Most were sea planes some corporate jets and the lowest and loudest are the helicopters, Needs to be a better balance between people traveling to their east end homes and those that live here year round that have to endure the noise.
By auntof9 (159), Southampton on Aug 23, 19 11:30 AM
So the limousine liberals seem to be helicopter liberals these days!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Aug 24, 19 6:01 AM
Morning of Aug5th... from 7:04 to 9:33 49 helicopters and planes flew over our house in Laurel. Some as low as 900 feet. Think about that. Also think about the fact that copters at 3500 feet are still noisy as hell especially when they fly 2 minutes apart. Demand AN ALL WATER ROUTE TO THEAIRPORT or close the
Place down to all but private recreational owners that’s what it used to be back in the day. No more Ubers in the sky
By Living the nightmare (1), Southold on Aug 30, 19 11:15 AM
N7660, N88CP, N711DS, N35HF, N 48ZA, N404TD, N7679, N176MT, N98ZA, N7601S, N404TD, N7679S, N212K, N711 DS, N408GG, N131 TD, N777ZA, N353JS, N7660S, S76LLC, N7667S, N661 AT, N7660S, N431AF, N355MT, N430AG, N638MF, N18F, N301CV, N945RF, N155RR, N661AT, N179MT, N431HF, N355MT, N176MT, N7601S, N98ZA, N167MT. Only 43 helicopter overflights on Labor Day. Did you have your windows open or in central air? n88za, n176mt, n7601s, n404td, n7679s were all scud running and flying udring the tornado warning. ...more
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Sep 3, 19 6:10 AM