For many years, and certainly this political season, the benefits and detriments of the growing East Hampton Airport has resulted in lively discussion. However, according to East Hampton Town Councilman Dominick Stanzione, one issue that should not be up for debate is whether or not the airport is a significant contributor to the town’s overall economy.
Last week, Stanzione put out a press release detailing a report issued by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) in May that details the economic impact the airport has on the region.
According to the report — NYS Economic Impacts of Aviation issued by Joan McDonald, Commissioner of the NYSDOT — concluded that the airport is responsible, indirectly and directly, for the creation of 91 local jobs and brings $12.6 million into the local economy.
The study was meant to detail the economic impacts over 80 airports in the state have on their regions. It concluded the Wainscott-based airport was responsible for the creation of 65 jobs, with another 26 jobs created indirectly by the airport and the businesses its infrastructure supports. The income generated by that employment totals $5,812,800, according to the report.
In total, when taking into account expenditures at the airport and at businesses outside the airport, the report concludes the airport brings in $12,806,100 annually throughout the East Hampton economy.
Stanzione described the report’s conclusion as “important evidence of the economic contribution our airport makes to every taxpayer in our community.”
“There are few, if any, other economic enterprises that can compete with that performance,” he added.
The release comes on the heels of the recent approval by the Federal Aviation Administration of the town’s Airport Layout Plan (ALP), which Stanzione maintains will allow the town to gain greater control over its airspace by installing a seasonal control tower, staffed by town-paid air traffic controllers