By Kathryn G. Menu
The East Hampton Town Board will complete a financial analysis and study the impacts of noise at the East Hampton Airport in a multi-pronged approach to airport planning unveiled by Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez on Tuesday.
In a formal resolution at the board’s Thursday night meeting, the town’s budget and finance advisory committee will be tasked with completing a financial analysis of the airport. Chaired by Arthur Malman, the BFAC will include four new members who will serve six-month terms with the committee specifically to be a part of the airport study, according to Burke-Gonzalez. Quiet Skies Coalition co-founder Frank Dalene, Committee to Stop Airport Expansion members David Gruber and Pat Trunzo and East Hampton Aviation Association member Tom Twomey will be appointed to the committee Thursday night, with Gene Oshrin serving as an alternate member, according to the draft resolution. They will join longstanding committee members Bonnie Krupinski and Peter Wadsworth, as well as airport manager Jim Brundige and Burke-Gonzalez in completing the analysis.
The study, said Burke-Gonzalez, will focus on operating expenses and maintenance, as well as revenue streams—both existing and new revenue options—and airport leases.
“Ultimately, the financial analysis will help guide the board on how the airport can best be financed in the future, either through self-financing or FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] subsidies,” she said, noting the committee hopes to finish its work this spring.
The town will also complete a noise analysis of the airport that Burke-Gonzalez said is intended to give the board the data it needs to pursue noise restrictions at the airport.
Last year, the town board adopted a five-year $5.2 million maintenance plan and $5.3 million capital improvement plan for the airport, which Burke-Gonzalez noted has virtually been ignored when it comes to maintenance projects. Burke-Gonzalez said instead of following that blueprint, the board will review a resolution Thursday night to appoint an airport planning committee, made up of members of the aviation community and noise abatement advocates who will work in a consensus model to create an ultimate noise abatement, operations and capital improvement plan for the airport.