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8 Comments by Solusipse

Bid to put East Hampton airport plan in place as summer nears

Though I am pleased to see some progress finally being made on the Airport Plan it is apparant that disingenuous politics are still delaying a beneficial outcome and costing the Town of East Hampton millions of dollars that were easily obtainable from the FAA with virtually no strings attached had the Airport Layout Plan been produced and the funds applied for. In addition to the routine airport improvement funds the feds had allocated, under TARP there was $3 Billion gi ven to shovel ready plans that East Hampton failed to apply for. The main runway could have been repaired; runway 4-22 completely rebuilt; a fully operational AWOS with its own frequency installed; an improved fueling facility installed-all in the interest of safety, not more traffic for less than the cost of the "studies" to improve noise abatement.
The noise complaints are virtually all about helicopters which has nothing whatsoever to do with the runways or other safety improvements needed at the airport. In fact the noise abatement issue has been used to stall improvements to the airport for years in the vain hope of eventually closing it and exploiting the real estate opportunities that would create, converting public benefit of an important safety, recreational facility and economic generator to private development profits.
Incidently, with respect to lawsuits, in furtherance of their efforts to steal this public facility a group styling itself as seeking to prevent airport expansion-which was never even planned, has sued the Town about 5 times, costing it millions and losing every case. The last time they sued was to stop the repaving of the parking apron in front of the terminal. Having lost that, and the appeal, the Town was entitled, but mysteriously has failed, to collect a $200,000 bond that the group had to post in connection with its appeal.
In view of the Town's financial condition, employment of local residents, net positive annual operatting profit from the airport of around $400,000 as well as the more than $10million per year infusion of funds into the community as estimated by the NYS Department of Transportation, East Hampton residents should be demanding that the airport plan be completed, federal funds be applied for, improvements bid and commenced immediately while noise abatement solutions continue to be pursued as one is not dependent on the other." Mar 17, 10 10:51 AM

Plane Blown Off East Hampton Airport Runway

Yes. 4-22 must be repaired.
No. A rock concert with close to 10,000 people on one of the busiest weekends of the year should not be staged merely yards from where that plane departed the runway." May 2, 11 10:42 AM

Family: Sagaponack Plane Crash Pilot, Passenger On The Mend

I guess I will never understand the kneejerk nastiness of the uninformed but strongly opinionated commentators to articles whether about a flower show, a scholastic achievement or a tragic accident. A pilot and his future son in law out for an enjoyable Sunday jaunt in a beautifully restored aircraft, attending a club meeting on a private airstrip of many years experience an unfortunate loss of control or mechanical failure, and instead of relief that they survived and no one else was injured, we get hostile rants. Maybe we wouldn't if they were fishermen lost at sea or motorcyclists killed in a road rage incident. Get a life, be more tolerant and find a little empathy for ordinary people pursuing their hobbies at their own risk." Jul 25, 11 6:07 PM

State Supreme Court Upholds East Hampton Town Airport Master Plan

This is not "the first round". Gruber and associates has sued the Town at least 5 times and the FAA once, and they've never won a single case though they caused the Town to incur a $million in legal fees and cost it many $millions in FAA funds that have been available for the asking for essential SAFETY repairs and improvements at the airport. The Town is lucky no serious accidents have occurred for which it would be held liable for failure to maintain facilities it's legally obligated to and about which it has had notice for years." Jul 19, 12 2:42 PM

East Hampton Town Hails Court Ruling On Helicopters; Pilots Tout Stance On FAA Funds

Bragman and his clients further add to confusion by misrepresenting the implications of the settlement of a lawsuit by the Committee to Stop Airport Expansion against the FAA a few years ago.
1. They claim it results in certain grant assurances expiring in 2014. IN FACT the settlement merely provided that the FAA wound not enforce them. That only means that rather than a party adversely affected by any hostile action after 2014 seeking enforcement by the FAA it would seek the same relief from the Eastern District Federal Court which would retain full power and authority to enforce the grant assurances which would remain in effect until 2023.
2. The Committee had no standing to bring the lawsuit.
3. The FAA had no power to modify federal statutory law, hence its agreement was limited to its agreement that it would not enforce it, and the legality of that is even questionable.
3. The Town was not even a party to the lawsuit or the settlement and is not bound by it.
4. Any purported action by the Town adverse to stakeholders' interests premised on the settlement would undoubtedly be countered by a lengthy and expensive lawsuit during which such action would probably be stayed.

In the meantime, the Town has already:
1. successfully, but at a cost of $millions in legal fees, defended 5 or 6 lawsuits by various entities tied to the same few iindividuals who have consistently misled the public both about their rights and motives;
2. Lost $$millions of federal funds that would have been available for repaving runway 4-22, installing safety deer fencing and security measures, installing a more capable automated weather reporting system (that, in addition to providing more safety could contribute to less noise by reducing missed approached); maintaining its instrument approaches, and other airport maintenance and improvements 90% of the cost of which the Feds would have paid with virtually no strings other than those applicable to any public use airport that takes no funds, and 5% of which would have been paid by NY State;
3. Wasted much of the $500,000 per year operating surplus of the airport;;
4. Been unable to exploit numerous additional profit potentials from the ariport due to deceptive opposition; and
5. Been assailed by hundreds of "noise complaints" and propagandized by literally a handful of people.
6. Misled with respect to the usage, importance, and economic benefits of the airport to the community including access, business and recreation for many of its residents and taxpayers; emergency airlifts in and out of the area; and secondary economic benefits that the NYS Dept of Transportation estimates exceeds $12Million/year" Jul 17, 13 1:12 PM

East Hampton Village Board Adds To Pressure On Town To Resolve Airport Noise Problems

Helicopter noise IS a problem at KHTO.
However, the public has been fed INCORRECT information both about (a) "expiration" of grant assurances; and (b) the consequences if that even occurred.

Even if the FAA settlement with the Committee to Stop Airport Expansion were legally binding, which it is not for a number of reasons, it did NOT provide for the expiration of grant assurances but merely that "Defendant FAA agrees.. that the following (4 out of approximately 25) grant assurances will NOT BE ENFORCED beyond December 31, 2014" .

Furthermore, even if the FAA does not enforce those assurances, an aggrieved party, such as the helicopter operators can file suit in Federal District Court to seek enforcement, and KHTO will still, notwithstanding any non-enforcement by the FAA or expiration of assurances STILL be subject to requirements of federal law and regulations which require any rules and procedures affecting the airport to be reasonable, non-arbitrary and non-discriminatory.

For that reason, some of us have been urging the Town to meet with the FAA NOW to explore what it would consider reasonable restrictions to mitigate helicopter noise and get the FAA to defend the Town's actions in 2015 rather than opposing them.
In the meantime, its a shame that the taxpayers will be deprived of literally millions of dollars of Airport Improvement Grants that could address ALL of the airport's repair and maintenance costs at little expense to the Town and virtually NO additional regulation." Sep 10, 14 3:10 PM

Tom Twomey Of East Hampton Dies November 16

This is very sad. Tom gave alot to the community and had a lot more to give.
Sincere condolences to Judith and his family. East Hampton pilots, among others will sorely miss his wise counsel" Nov 17, 14 12:37 PM

East Hampton Airport Opponents' Lawsuit Dismissed By Appellate Court

1. The Town is NOT free of federal regulation and grant assurances did NOT expire. The FAA said it won't enforce 4 of them BUT the FAA cannot legally do that and even if it does, the grant assurances REMAIN in place for enforcement by the court.
2. Even if the CONTRACTUAL grant assurances did expire, WHICH THEY DIDN'T, the Town is still subject to STATUTORY restrictions under ANCA which are effectively the same. They require reasonable, non-discriminatory regulations supported by proper studies and evidence which the proposed restrictions are NOT.
3.The "noise" study identifies the location of frequent complainers NOT actual noise. The actual scientific noise analysis bears NO relationship to the complaints, and many of the complainers are LEGALLY BARRED from complaining due to deed restrictions when they bought near the airport.
4. The absurd 30 million "exceedences based on single noise events is WORTHLESS as the court acknowledged. It is NOT recognized as valid or useful..Motorcycles, lawn mowers, construction activity, hunters, LIRR etc. etc would all be illegal.
5. The court sustained the Town's environmental support of the Master Plan but NO environmental study was done to support the proposed restrictions which would have very negative effect on Montauk, SH helipad area, Gabreski, Mattituck, LIRR, Route 27 traffic etc.
6. REASONABLE restrictions, including a curfew, mandatory procedures and routes which could be effective immediately have been offered and rejected, but the proposed restrictions WILL be litigated and the Town enjoined from enforcing them for the foreseeable future with no relief.
5.The Town could have been and can NOW accept FAA funds to pay for noise abatement without giving up control but would rather tax its residents while allowing the airport to deteriorate.

WHY do you suppose this is all happening. Despite protestations to the contrary, someone's long range strategy is to deprive the community of commercial operations at the airport WHICH ALWAYS EXISTED; deprive the airport of revenue, allow it to deteriorate, and eventually CLOSE THE AIRPORT and develop the land." Mar 18, 15 12:06 PM