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Jul 14, 2015 5:28 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Airport Curfew Violations Climb In Second Week

Nighttime curfews are in place at the East Hampton Airport. LAURA WEIR
Jul 14, 2015 5:28 PM

Violations of curfews at East Hampton Airport climbed in the second week of the new restrictions on flight times, with charter jet and helicopter operators being responsible for most of the infractions.

The number of flights in and out of the airport during the legal hours of operation also climbed from the July 4 weekend.

Ten aircraft broke the morning and evening curfew; three of them were outside the abridged landing and takeoff window for particularly loud aircraft, according to airport manager Jemille Charlton.

In the first four days of the curfew, which included the July 4 weekend, just four aircraft broke the curfews. Three were charter jets owned by NetJets and World Wide Jet. The fourth was a small private propeller plane that landed 10 minutes before the curfew expired.

General airport traffic over the most recent weekend climbed even from the busy July 4 weekend. Last weekend, the total operations at the airport were about 800, and this weekend the number is believed to be more than 1,000, though the numbers have not been finalized, the airport manager said.

Specifics about who the operators of the planes that broke the curfew on the second weekend were not yet available early this week, as airport officials must verify the information reported by the curfew enforcement equipment.

“But it’s been predominantly the charter operations,” Mr. Charlton said. “Mostly right on the shoulders [of the curfew]. We do get some in the middle of the night, but they’re few and far between. Complaints are still through the roof.”

Through each of the first two weekends since the curfews went into place, complaints from residents have climbed, despite hopes that the curfews would reduce the number of complaints by eliminating the late-night flights that had spurred the largest numbers of complaints. Both last weekend and this past weekend, complaints totaled more than 1,000 through calls to the noise complaint hotline and website.

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What is the fine for breaking the curfew?
By Rich Morey (279), East Hampton on Jul 15, 15 9:43 AM
It's substantial. $1000 for first violation, $4000 for second, $10,000 for third. Plus a whole slew of add on fines and fees amounting to thousands of dollars. It's enough to ground a small single engine prop plane for a year or two (or more). And there is ABSOLUTELY NO NOTICE being provided by the town board to small private pilots. The commercial operators have learned through the lawsuit and locals know, but the town has not made any effort to warn or notify incoming private pilots of small airplanes.
By localEH (207), East Hampton on Jul 15, 15 10:53 AM
If any pilot, local or otherwise, knows in advance about the curfew, the law would likely consider such "actual notice" as legally sufficient, regardless of what notice the Town has or has not provided.

Pilots of incoming planes who have not been given notice (and who do not in fact personally know about the curfew) will probably be given only a warning for the first violation, with no fine, which would constitute sufficient notice under the law. Subsequent violations of the curfew would ...more
By PBR (4797), Southampton on Jul 15, 15 11:55 AM
1 member liked this comment
If any pilot, local or otherwise, knows in advance about the curfew, the law would likely consider such "actual notice" as legally sufficient, regardless of what notice the Town has or has not provided.

Pilots of incoming planes who have not been given notice (and who do not in fact personally know about the curfew) will probably be given only a warning for the first violation, with no fine, which would constitute sufficient notice under the law. Subsequent violations of the curfew should ...more
By PBR (4797), Southampton on Jul 15, 15 12:13 PM
I completely agree with you. That is exactly the reasonable manner it should be handled. Unfortunately I do not believe the TB has any intention of being that reasonable. Mr. Charlton does not have any discretion in reporting violations to the town and the town is the one that will issue the fines (not Mr. Charlton). When asked about the lack of notice, the TB didn't seem to care. We will have to wait and see.
By localEH (207), East Hampton on Jul 15, 15 2:41 PM
There have already been planes who have had to unexpectedly conduct missed approach/go around procedures on landing when they were told over the com by fellow pilots waiting on the ground about the curfew. It's ridiculous the TB is putting people' safety at risk in refusing to provide notice of the curfew.
By localEH (207), East Hampton on Jul 15, 15 2:56 PM
I thought that the various sites which have airport info. for pilots (FAA, etc.) have added the curfew into their listings, along with the standard runway data etc.?

Indeed, the FAA A/FD listing for KHTO says:

"NS ABTMT procedures in effect ctc arpt management for details at
631–537–1130."

Aren't pilots legally required to check this information before planning a flight?
By PBR (4797), Southampton on Jul 15, 15 5:29 PM
The following link for an official US government FAA document is provided as a public service, in the interest of full and complete information. Hopefully the editors will permit the link to remain in place, so that this dialogue can continue "on the same page" as it were.
By PBR (4797), Southampton on Jul 15, 15 5:31 PM
Link:

http://aeronav.faa.gov/afd/25jun2015/ne_187_25JUN2015.pdf
By PBR (4797), Southampton on Jul 15, 15 5:32 PM
1 member liked this comment
I appreciate that as a non-pilot you may not be familiar with these tools.
1. A/FDs are only updated every 60 days, so the new curfews and the criminal penalties and fines are not included in it. Next one is in August.
2. The noise abatement note you reference is only about voluntary noise abatement, not the closure of the airport or the curfew that includes criminal penalties and fines. It is very old and relates to the voluntary procedures of not flying lower than 1000 ft over the beaches, ...more
By localEH (207), East Hampton on Jul 15, 15 10:00 PM
Thank you for these details, but the point was that the quote from the FAA page puts all pilots on notice to call KHTO to inquire about the "NS ABTMT procedures" regardless of their details, or when they were promulgated.

Any pilot, therefore, who chooses NOT to call the airport, also chooses to ignore learning about ALL aspects of the abatement procedures (even if they are not detailed in the brief FAA posting linked above).

Thus, "ignorance of the law is no excuse" IMO.

Your ...more
By PBR (4797), Southampton on Jul 16, 15 3:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
I think you missed my point. A notation of noise abatement in an A/FD means there may be some modifications as to HOW you fly (altitudes, headings, procedures). It does not pertain to WHEN you can fly or use the airport and does not provide any notice that the whole airport will be closed down and violators subject to prosecution and fines. Only a very small handful of airports in the U.S. close entirely at night - this is a very rare thing and would not be expected by inbound pilots. Plus the number ...more
By localEH (207), East Hampton on Jul 16, 15 1:17 PM
Good points, thanks.
By PBR (4797), Southampton on Jul 16, 15 1:34 PM
The curfew is going to provide those who spend their time complaining about the airport one more thing to obsess about...
By InnerBay (55), Southampton on Jul 15, 15 9:54 PM
2 members liked this comment
No excuse for commercial pilots not to know about the new regs. Non-local light aircraft should get a mulligan.
By harbor (282), East Hampton on Jul 16, 15 11:16 AM
like the takers of the hamptons care about a fine? just a cost of owning in the hamptons and coming out by plane or heli every weekend..the entitled seem to think they are above the laws of our towns and rightly so since no town ever does anything but yell, say it will stop, summer ends and so do the political promises to take care of the problem. another day in paradise!!!
By xtiego (575), bridgehampton on Jul 16, 15 6:20 PM
For the corporate jets, the fines are just part of the cost of doing business and a tax write off. For many of those who arrive by those jets the fines represent just a few minutes income verses sitting in traffic for three hours. It's not really about being above the law, it's just a simple financial decision.
By bird (604), Southampton on Jul 18, 15 7:48 PM
CTREE, benefit, therapy, horses, riding