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Oct 4, 2011 11:02 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

East Hampton Councilman: Airport Creates Jobs

Oct 4, 2011 5:02 PM

East Hampton Town Councilman Dominick Stanzione pointed to a study last week showing that East Hampton Airport generates 91 local jobs and infuses $12.6 million per year into the local economy, adding fuel to the long debate over the airport’s role in the community.

The study, performed by the Federal Aviation Administration and the State Department of Transportation, was released in May and sought to measure the economic impacts of 85 airports in the state. It concluded that East Hampton Airport, located in Wainscott, is directly responsible for creating 65 jobs and indirectly responsible for creating 26 more, resulting in $5.8 million of annual income.

It also found that the airport brings $12.6 million into the community annually, through expenditures at the airport and local hotels, restaurants, stores, and other businesses used by visitors who arrive through the airport.

Mr. Stanzione, the Town Board’s liaison to the airport, used the report to bolster his argument that the municipal airport is an economic engine for the community, and counter opponents who argue that airport activity needs to be curtailed due to aircraft noise.

Mr. Stanzione cited the report as “important evidence of the economic contribution our airport makes to every taxpayer in our community.”

He added: “There are few, if any, other economic enterprises that can compete with that performance.”

Kathy Cunningham, a member of the steering committee of the Quiet Skies Coalition, said she believes the data in the report was extrapolated from national data, and do not necessarily reflect the true number of jobs and amount of economic activity the airport brings to the region. She also said East Hampton Town has failed to perform a cost benefit analysis of the airport, which she said is called for in the Town Code.

“I think that is the real issue here,” Ms. Cunningham, whose group advocates having less traffic at the airport, wrote in an email. “Why rely on a report by an industry agency, obviously promoting the benefits of said industry, that is a statewide analysis, when the Town Code clearly indicates that a cost benefit analysis of our airport should and must be conducted?”

Ms. Cunningham, a resident of East Hampton, said the community envisioned “a smaller airport with a lot less activity” than there is now.

Mr. Stanzione has maintained that installing a summer control tower, which the Town Board approved last month, will help manage aircraft noise. He is also working with the Federal Aviation Administration to route more helicopters along the South Shore of Long Island, where they will pass over fewer homes.

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Odd that Mr. Stanzione was mute when this FAA “study” was released in May. He evidently did not think much of it then. Now he trumpets it during the election season when the Republican plan for airport expansion under federal government control is before the East Hampton voters.

Where is a local study by the town verifying any of this, or should the voters take it on faith from the federal government as Mr. Stanzione prefers?
By danrudan (40), Southampton on Oct 4, 11 11:35 PM
I have no stake in this, not living by the airport or using it often, but there have been studies ad nuaseum on this subject - after 20 years and lawsuit after lawsuit a la (still) Democrat Committee Treasurer David Gruber et. al - I am happy the issue may be put to rest soon. I don't need to pay for another "local study". What's your interest in this Dan? I say take the money, Town Board - and thank you! Recently read where the Wainscott CAC basically attacked Wilkinson on this front. Frank ...more
By Board Watcher (533), East Hampton on Oct 5, 11 9:37 PM
It ain't political bub, and you know it.
Sure the Republicans who want a Hamptons International Airport funded and controlled by the federal government would love to make the airport a political issue; they and you can make no credible case that the currently federally funded and controlled airport is good for the future of East Hampton.
By danrudan (40), Southampton on Oct 6, 11 1:30 PM
Support the Dems much?
By easthamptoner (34), easy hampton on Oct 7, 11 12:15 PM
It's not political - unless you live by the airport and are bitter about it - weren't you a part of the airport cabal that attacked Wilkinson at the CAC meeting? I understand it may (now and always has been?) a "quality of life" issue for you - but it's not for me - sorry.
By Board Watcher (533), East Hampton on Oct 11, 11 11:54 PM
"Hamptons international Airport"? Come on. That sounds like the Southampton and East Hampton crazies who back in the late 90's said that 737's would be landing in East Hampton within a year -- and ran political ads to that effect. You anti airport people are just over the top and lack credibility. It's about time there was a real plan for that airport and everyone in Southampton and East Hampton should be grateful to the East Hampton Town Board. Someone who lives on the border and pays taxes ...more
By mrmako61 (148), southampton on Oct 9, 11 9:40 PM
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