As many of you know, for the past few years there has been a growing and aggressive campaign to ban all helicopters and some airplanes from the East Hampton Airport. We have fought to work with the local opponents and to find common ground but recently this assault has been escalated and the future of the East Hampton Airport is now in grave danger.
On February 4, 2015, the East Hampton Town Board put forward four resolutions to restrict and ban helicopters, jets, seaplanes, and turboprops. These restrictions will institute a mandatory curfew, a limit on operations of “noisy” aircraft to one per week per aircraft, and a complete ban on all helicopters every Thursday through Monday, and holidays. These aircraft are classified as noisy based on an arbitrary level, not recognized by aviation regulatory bodies.
They believe this is justified by a 2005 agreement between the FAA and a third party anti-airport group that stripped away the enforcement of three statutory grant assurances which kept the airport open 24/7 without discrimination or unfair pricing. Under this agreement, those three grant assurances which protected free use of the East Hampton Airport ran out on December 31, 2014. The Town began laying the groundwork for these restrictions by nominating a budget and finance committee comprised of mostly airport opponents, including David Gruber, the architect for the settlement which waived the grant assurances.
The committee has come up with an unrealistic plan for the airport to be self-sufficient while at
the same time restricting over 50% of its revenue generators. They have already crafted a request for Proposal (RFP) for outside consultation called “Noise Studies for Helicopter and Fixed-Wing restrictions at East Airport”. The landing fees have been raised 40% and the fuel fees 100%. In short, they plan to dramatically raise the costs to try to appear to compensate for the reduced operations and flights. The reality is this is a scorched earth policy whose real intention is nothing short of shuttering the airport entirely. The passage of these resolutions will further exacerbate the financial concerns at the airport by making the East Hampton Airport ineligible for any future federal monies, and is tantamount to a death sentence for the airport as a whole. They will cripple the small independent businesses located at the field.
Without any intervention we believe the Town will continue its task and apply restrictions and bans to most users, eventually bankrupting the airport or leaving it in such disrepair and unsafe, that the FAA will be forced to step in and close it for them.
User groups, small businesses, and private individuals have aligned to form our group. The sole purpose of our existence is to maintain safe and unrestricted access in and out of East Hampton airport. We believe that to be most effective we must be aggressive in our defense on three fronts: relationship building, messaging, and legal protection.
This will continue to be a costly and extensive battle but one we believe we can win, but not without your support. The Friends of the East Hampton Airport is asking you to participate in our quest by donating your time and your money. It is not too late to save this airport and the jobs and businesses associated with it.
Please read through the information below to decide for yourself the steps being taken to starve the airport into extinction.
Town of East Hampton's Proposed Restrictions Letter From Kathee Burke-Gonzalez
Notice of Public Hearing: Local Law Amending Chapter 75 (Airport) of the Town Code
Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell & HMMH Presentation on Regulations to Address Noise and Disturbances from Operations at EH Airport
Revised BFAC Airport Debt Capacity Report
Former East Hampton Supervisor Bill Wilkinson's Letter On the East Hampton Airport
Quick Fact Sheet
Kathee Burke-Gonzalez's Campaign Promise
Question and Answers About East Hampton Airport
HTO Debt Capacity
East Hampton Airport Economic Study
NYS East Hampton Airport Economic Study