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Stanzione: Airport Manager Working on Reducing Jessup’s Neck Air Traffic

Posted on 03 April 2013

East Hampton Town Councilman Dominick Stanzione vowed on Tuesday that East Hampton Airport Manager Jim Brundige “is willing to roll up his sleeves and help reduce the air traffic over Jessup’s Neck.”

Stanzione was expected to join Brundige, and a group of government officials including Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Shelter Island Supervisor Jim Dougherty, as well as Quiet Skies Coalition (QSC) Chair Kathy Cunningham and Eastern Regional Helicopter Council (ERHC) Chair Jeff Smith later that afternoon to discuss options to provide residents of Southampton Town relief from helicopter noise. Last year, a second northern route into the East Hampton Airport over Northwest Creek was eliminated, meaning the Jessup’s Neck route became the sole northern entry and exit point for helicopter traffic.

At a Tuesday morning work session, Sag Harbor Citizens Advisory Committee member Bob Malafronte questioned the safety of the one route into the airport, noting two pilots raised the issue at the ERHC’s annual Long Island Fly Neighborly kick off meeting on March 19.

QSC vice chairman Charles Ehren raised the issue of a public hearing scheduled on the “permanent installation of an Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) that will be operational on a seasonal basis at East Hampton Airport,” according to a notice announcing the hearing on May 1 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the airport.

Ehren said he believed the board agreed to a temporary, and seasonal, air traffic tower that it would study before making the tower permanent.

Both Stanzione and town attorney John Jilnicki said the FAA is requiring the town board to complete an environmental assessment of having a permanent, yet seasonal, tower at the airport, but that the town board could choose not to fund the tower if it decides to shut it down.

Stanzione added he was attending a meeting later that afternoon, and an additional route would be considered. Despite Supervisor Bill Wilkinson pushing Stanzione to address a route change to give Southampton residents some relief, Stanzione said he was open to the idea but not in a position to make a public recommendation. That power, he said, traditionally lay in Brundige’s hands.

He added the pilots have to agree, as any routes into the airport are voluntary.

Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc said he believes not just routing but a larger discussion about how to create “meaningful restrictions” at the airport is necessary before residents will feel any relief from airport noise.

Councilwoman Theresa Quigley questioned whether Stanzione should be representing the board at the meeting, as she does not believe he represents the full board’s opinions.

Smith said generally a noise abatement program does come from the airport manager, and the association looks at it to see if it is technically possible. If it is, he said they comply.

“If you want us to fly five different routes then provide us with those five routes and we will see if we can technically do it,” he said, adding for the 2013 season he needs direction immediately.

Stanzione did say there was an alternate route being assessed by the airport manager, which would fly over Northwest and the Sag Harbor Golf Course before landing at the airport.


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3 Responses to “Stanzione: Airport Manager Working on Reducing Jessup’s Neck Air Traffic”

  1. skeber says:

    An alternate route coming from the south should be discussed. The only reason it has not been considered is there is homeowners would not want to be distressed by the noise on their estates. As they are the predominant patrons of the airport and it’s aircraft commuting services, I think it only fair they share in the aircraft pollution and noise, if not accept all of it.
    I note last summer Stanzione and Brundige made a decision to place all incoming aircraft traffic over Jessups Neck in Southampton without consulting board members of EH or SH Townships.
    Placing limitations of airport operations as well as routes is vital to the economy and future of our communities. Incessant aircraft noise pollution will radically change the attractiveness of the sought after summer residents. Real estate is being greatly affected and that should be of concern to tax payers.

  2. School Parent says:

    What percentage of the population of the East End sees ANY benefit from the existence of the East Hampton Airport, maybe 2%? While 100% are at some time annoyed by the helicopter traffic, especially in the summer.
    CLOSE the East Hampton airport! Let Montauk and Gabreski enjoy the business, and the noise.

  3. Amelia Airport says:

    So let me see if I have this right. This clown from some helicopter lobby has final say over routing?
    Fox in the henhouse? The noise gets worse every year and these airport lobby groups spend thousands of dollars on misleading advertising and campaign contributions. It’s time to shut this nuisance of an airport down. The lack of local control is ruining lives as far away as Riverhead and the North Fork. For what? The convenience of a few.

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