My husband and I are full-time Montauk residents. Our home is in the flight path of the Montauk Airport, and when planes and helicopters fly over, all conversation in my backyard must stop, because we can hear nothing but the engines.
An increase in the volume of air traffic will significantly and negatively impact our quality of life and property values. For this reason and others I will share below, we are against any decision that will materially increase traffic to the Montauk Airport.
We do recognize the challenges in addressing the needs of the residents of Wainscott who have been impacted by the East Hampton Airport noise and traffic. I do not feel that town residents should be harmed for someone else’s convenience. Travel to our area is available by car, bus and train, and those who wish to enjoy our area should invest of themselves the time to get here, like the rest of us.
Before any decision is made, additional study needs to be undertaken. The recent diversion study did the best it could with the data available and the assumption set they made, but there is more to be considered.
1. East Hampton Airport is needed for emergency management and for support during disasters. Particularly when roads are damaged, airports and harbors would be critical to use as staging areas to receive supplies.
2. The infrastructure impact must be evaluated. Montauk has one road in and out. We have seen the challenges already from the increase in the summer population.
3. East Lake Drive is a narrow two-lane road with no shoulders. An increase in traffic at the Montauk Airport will increase the volume of car traffic significantly. Pedestrians and bikers are in danger. Access to Gin Beach and the state park will be significantly inhibited.
4. A study must be undertaken to evaluate who flies into Montauk today and where do they go, as well as who will fly into Montauk if East Hampton Airport closes or significantly reduces its volume. Is it really feasible to have the only airport access on the far end of the chokepoint on the East End?
I had a chance to watch the September 7 Town Board meeting after work. It is difficult for interested parties to generate presence and to create critical mass during the workday. This is why there is underrepresentation, and not a lack of interest.
Participation from Montauk would be extensive if the session were conducted in person. The conclusion that the interest is low because the sign-ups are low is wrong. Technology is now an inhibitor, and I ask that the board expand all opportunities for the community to speak on this life-changing issue.
One fine body…