East Hampton Town has filed an appeal, seeking to overturn a federal court injunction against a local law that limits noisy aircraft at East Hampton Airport to one trip per week.
The law was one of three that were approved by the Town Board in April to address complaints coming from residents all over the East End about noise and an increasing amount of air traffic in and out of the airport. The town adopted three new codes that set a pair of curfews for operations at the airport and limited aircraft considered especially loud, including many helicopters, to a single landing and takeoff each week.
In June, following a lawsuit filed by a group representing aviation interests, an injunction was placed on the third law, the one that would limit use of the airport to once per week for certain types of aircraft.
Attorneys for the aviation group Friends of the East Hampton Airport, which filed the suit over the new airport laws, asked for the temporary restraining order barring the town from imposing its new flight restrictions until the lawsuit could be adjudicated.
U.S. District Court Judge Joanna Seybert declined to issue the restraining order on the curfews—which have been in effect since July 2—saying the town was within its authority to open and close the airport as it saw fit, but said the restrictions on the number of operations could not go into effect until the legal arguments in the lawsuit were heard. That is the decision that the town is appealing, seeking to have the once-a-week limit in effect while the court decides its legality.
“We believe all three laws are lawful and necessary to protect the quality of life on the East End,” Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said in a release last week. “These three laws are the result of careful, thoughtful and transparent balancing by the Town Board. We are hopeful that the Court of Appeals will recognize that all three laws are essential to address the problem of excessive aircraft noise.”
East Hampton Town hired Kathleen M. Sullivan, an appellate attorney with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, to aid it in the appeal of the restraining order. She will work with the town’s airport counsel, Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell LLP.
Loren Riegelhaupt, spokesperson for Friends of the East Hampton Airport, declined to comment on the town’s appeal of the restraining order.