Categorized | Letters To The Editor

Letters 8/15/13

Posted on 16 August 2013

Officials Not Doing Enough

Dear Editor

While the Schumer/Bishop efforts to force helicopters to fly over Long Island Sound (Schumer, Bishop Call for Noise Abatement, August 1) may be good for some communities on Long Island, it has certainly been detrimental to Sag Harbor. Since the helicopter route was changed this year because of complaints by Noyac residents, helicopters are flying over Sag Harbor at almost all hours of the day and into the night. On Sunday, July 28 between 7:50 a.m. and 5:44 p.m. 34 loud, low flying aircraft flew over my Sag Harbor neighborhood. Of those four were jets, 10 were helicopters, 16 were propeller planes, two were seaplanes and two were undetermined types. This does not include the aircraft flying after 6 p.m. on Sunday evening, typically a very busy period.

Sag Harbor is not the only victim of the noisy, overcrowded skies surrounding the East Hampton Airport and I wouldn’t wish this disturbance on any additional communities. The main approach so far by Schumer, Bishop and the local governments seems to be to try to appease the most vocal community groups by changing flight patterns that afflict the noise on other communities.

There must be another solution than to just keep altering the flight routes. Also concentrating on helicopter noise doesn’t take into consideration that propeller planes, seaplanes and jets also contribute to the noise pollution that considerably reduces the enjoyment of our homes and gardens. As a lay person, I cannot prescribe a solution. Minimum height requirements? Limiting the number of flights into and out of the East Hampton Airport and the number of seaplanes using our waters? Mandatory curfews? Heavy fines and flying prohibitions for those ignoring the rules? I would like to think someone with the expertise to do so is actively working on this problem.

There has been much debate about the Town of East Hampton accepting or not accepting FAA funding that would leave the East Hampton Airport totally under the control of the FAA, yet it is still unclear whether the FAA or local authorities would be most effective in protecting the rights of people on the ground. The question of whether to accept FAA funding is not one that needs to be decided immediately. The FAA has another year to work on noise abatement. It doesn’t seem to have done much so far except change helicopter routes. Let them prove that they can and will do something about the noise problem before making the decision and if they do nothing, then let’s see what local politicians can do, but it’s important to vote for people in the upcoming elections who are willing to try to solve this problem in a way that works for all of the communities impacted by the airport, not just those communities that protest the loudest.

If anyone else is bothered by the amount of loud aircraft overhead, the East Hampton Airport has a complaint line, 1-800-376-4817. The more people who register complaints, the more pressure on the FAA to regulate aircraft for noise abatement and the stronger the case it can make for doing so.

Senator Schumer and Congressman Bishop have worked with the FAA on the helicopter issue. They should be made aware of negative impact their work on routing helicopters has had on Sag Harbor. They also need encouragement to broaden the scope of that work to include all aircraft.

Senator Schumer can be contacted at (202) 224-6542 or through his website:

Congressman Tim Bishop can be contacted by through his website:, by phone: (202) 225-3826 or by mail: 306 Cannon H.O.B. Washington, DC 20515.

Grace Tankersley

Sag Harbor


Busy Morning

Dear Bryan,

Here’s what aircraft noise was like around my place this morning:

6:34 a.m. helicopter outbound

6:54 a.m. same

7:05 a.m. same

7:08 a.m. prop plane

7:10 a.m. helicopter

7:15 a.m. plan

7:17 a.m. helo

7:19 a.m. multiple aircraft

7:21 a.m. plane

7:22 a.m. very loud helicopter

7:23 a.m. seaplane very low altitude

7:24 a.m. helicopter

7:25 a.m. helicopter

7:32 a.m. plane

7:35 a.m. helo & jet

7:38 a.m. helo

7:45 prop plane

7:46 a.m. very loud jet also

7:56 a.m. helo very low

7:56 a.m. prop plane

7:59 a.m. prop plane & helo

8:11 a.m. helo

8:14 a.m. loud jet

8:15 a.m. prop lane


Then I went to yoga.

Need I say more?


Kathleen Cunningham

East Hampton

Be Sociable, Share!

This post was written by:

- who has written 3074 posts on The Sag Harbor Express.

Contact the author

2 Responses to “Letters 8/15/13”

  1. Alli says:

    Get over it or move. The airport is there and isn’t going anywhere.

  2. richie says:

    how are the two percent going to get here, limo? Takes to long. they
    should make it an international airport.

Leave a Reply

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off-topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Terms of Service