Traffic Impact - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2072714

Traffic Impact

This is in reference to the article dated January 18 concerning the impact of East Hampton Airport closures on Montauk [“Airport Impact Analysis Should Put Magnifying Glass to Montauk, Residents Say,”].

The middle of the article states: “After conducting a ‘diversion study’ that tried to calculate how excluding some aircraft from East Hampton Airport would change flight patterns around the region, consultants for the town concluded in 2021 that most of the displaced flights would instead head for Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton, and not Montauk.

“Physical limitations would send nearly all of the jet aircraft that might be told they could not use East Hampton to Gabreski Airport in Westhampton, because Montauk Airport’s runways are not long enough for most jets to take off. And many more flights that could technically land in Montauk would likely go elsewhere also for practical reasons, such as Montauk Airport’s geographical remoteness, lack of fueling facilities and airplane services, and limited space for parking aircraft.”

My first question is: Why isn’t the title of the article something to the effect of “East Hampton Airport Restrictions To Affect Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach and All Traffic From Westhampton to Montauk”?

That “diversion study” apparently shows a huge impact on only Westhampton Beach due to increased air traffic, and, of course, there will be consequent increased road traffic when those air passengers get into cars to drive the rest of the way from Westhampton Beach to East Hampton and Montauk (and back to Westhampton Beach/Gabreski Airport).

So, my second question is: When will Westhampton Beach, Gabreski Airport, and every village between Westhampton Beach and Montauk, as well as the Town of Southampton, be notified of their right to intervene in and be heard in the East Hampton court case due to the obvious impact of the East Hampton Airport closure on them and on the roads, as shown by this initial “diversion study?”

Finally, will any additional impact studies, such as traffic, be done to include the entire area from Westhampton Beach/Gabreski Airport to Montauk? Will those affected and living in Westhampton Beach and villages comprising the Town of Southampton ever be offered and given a hearing?

Louise Conway

Westhampton Beach