The East Hampton Town Board is expected to take up a discussion tonight, Thursday, May 16, about increasing landing fees at East Hampton Airport, as well as other sources of revenue generation from the facility.
The meeting will be held at East Hampton Town Hall and will begin at 7 p.m.
In a press release issued Monday by Quiet Skies Coalition Chair Kathy Cunningham, that not-for-profit said it was unclear whether or not this was a scheduled public hearing or just a discussion piece for the board.
“Responsible management of any town facility requires a business plan that reflects income and expenses and an overall plan for operation and maintenance of that facility,” said Charles Ehren, QSC Vice Chairman, in the release. “For several years, East Hampton Airport generated revenue in excess of its expenses creating a surplus in the vicinity of $200,000 — $300,000 per year, from which other expansion projects, maintenance improvements and consultants fees have been funded.”
“The recent installation of a permanent seasonal air traffic control tower at great expense (over $700,000) depleted an airport surplus that had reached over $1.5 million with no plan in place for future financing this expansion of use,” charged Ehren. “It costs nearly $400,000 a year to fund the tower. A cost/benefit analysis of this expansion project and related financial impacts is not only responsible management of a town facility, but is required by the town code. As no such analysis has been conducted, the town board is now being asked to raise landing fees in an effort to begin to cover some of that extra cost.”
QSC members said they not only support the highest possible landing fees, but also seek other sources of revenue generation. The not-for-profit has long maintained the position that the town should not take any more funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in order to retain greater control over the airport.