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Overwhelming Support To Accept FAA Funds for Airport Deer Fence

Public hearing on accepting FAA funding draws over 150 to town hall; 50-plus speak, most in favor.

At a much-anticipated public hearing Thursday night, over 50 individuals spoke at town hall on the topic of whether or not the town should accept federal funding which would be used to construct a deer fence at East Hampton Airport.

Though improvement of the deer fence was the official reason for the hearing, the Federal Aviation Association funding tied to the design and construction of the fence is what has spurred much controversy and debate on both sides.

Those opposed to accepting the funding wish to be free from federal regulation so local controls can be enacted at the airport - namely to control noise - while those in favor largely say little evidence exists that such autonomy would be available, and the money is needed and should therefore be accepted anyways.

Airport manager Jim Brundige said, to the point of a deer fence, that "it's a wonder no one has been killed" by deer on the runway, showing photos to the audience of prior accidents between planes and deer.

"Let's not wait until this happens for the town to act," he said. Brundige added that the airport's surplus, currently around $1.2 million, would not be enough to fund all the capital projects needed at the airport, in addition to infrastructure maintenance.

Garden City-based DY Consultants, an engineering firm, ballparked an "early estimate" on the cost of the fence in the $600,000-$700,000 range.

Space at the town hall meeting room was packed Thursday night, with over 150 people attending. During the three-hour long hearing, those in favor of accepting the funding outnumbered those opposed by roughly two-to-one. Supervisor Bill Wilkinson said that the board received 29 letters in favor of accepting the funding, and 15 against.

Councilman Dominick Stanzione, the town board's liaison to the airport, said he wants to continue the discussion with the board next week, followed by a vote on applying for the design portion of the grant. The board left the public hearing open regarding the construction portion of the FAA grant, and will resume the discussion when the results of the design grant are complete - assuming the board votes in favor of accepting the funds.

SuzyScuba December 05, 2011 at 11:14 PM
QUIET SKIES COALITION WEBSITE....http://www.quietskiescoalition.org/
fatcat December 05, 2011 at 11:50 PM
Don't look now Editor, but your article's been jacked by Susan McGraw Keber.
SuzyScuba December 05, 2011 at 11:52 PM
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD...http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/no-faa-funding-of-east-hampton-airport/
SuzyScuba December 05, 2011 at 11:54 PM
Glad you're so interested FATCAT... http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/no-to-faa-funding-for-east-hampton-airport/ website....http://www.quietskiescoalition.org/
patricia currie December 06, 2011 at 12:33 AM
Susan McGraw Keber for Supervisor.........why not ? sounds like she can do what some can't.....I'm for it. Lets change the political faces, if that's what it takes.
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 12:36 AM
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/no-to-faa-funding-for-east-hampton-airport/website....http://www.quietskiescoalition.org/
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 12:47 AM
Deer run when scared. The thundering sound of low flying helicopters is frightening to human beings as well. But we don't run into the road trying to escape. Deer do. They run into the road only to get hit by cars as they try to escape the dangerous sounds! Our wildlife is being egregiously harmed by all aircraft noise and pollution. ARF? Animal lovers? Let's hear from you!!!! This is NOT just a human issue!!!
MARTIN DREW December 06, 2011 at 05:13 AM
Where is Bill Crain ? When talking deer?
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 05:15 AM
Is East Hampton Aviation Association (EHAA) based in East Hampton Town? We do not know. Newspaper ads list a PO Box in Wainscott. However, an Internet search under NY Business Listings reveals EHAA address as the same address as the Southampton Town-based law firm of Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin & Quartararo LLC, at 33 West Second Street, P.O. Box 9398, Riverhead, NY. When QSC called the law firm to verify the figures quoted by EHAA in their ads, no one was available to answer our questions. Unlike QSC which publicizes our web site, provides an email contact address, and clearly identifies on the web site all the principals within the group, EHAA has no listed email address or web site. Is it the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)? Are EHAA and AOPA one and the same or two different organizations sharing the same goal as the FAA--to facilitate flights 24/7 and 365 days a year? We simply don't know.
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 05:16 AM
F A Q Quiet Skies Coalition PO Box 956 Wainscott, NY 11975 info@quietskiescoalition.org Join Our Mailing List » JOIN NOW
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 05:18 AM
Do residents oppose accepting FAA funds? No. It is not true that only 4% of residents in East Hampton favor rejecting FAA funds. An increasing number of residents are calling for the airport to be scaled back, not expanded. Approximately 1% of the people in EH town benefit in some way from the airport-- that means that 99% do not. QSC tried on Friday, but was unable to reach a spokesperson for the EHAA to verify the source of the figure of 4% of residents quoted in their ads, mostly likely taken from a poll more than 5 years ago.
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 05:20 AM
East Hampton Aviation Association (EHAA) has placed many misleading ads in all local publications over the past few weeks. Those ads have been positioned as questions with accompanying answers by EHAA. We have the true answers to those questions as well as an additional question, regarding the leadership and the headquarters--in Southampton--of the East Hampton Aviation Association.
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 05:22 AM
Has the town taken action to control helicopter noise? No, not yet. The Town disbanded the East Hampton Town Airport Noise Abatement Committee (ANAAC) instituted by the previous administration when the ANAAC proposed its agenda earlier this year. And the much touted seasonal control "trailer" is not yet in place. Even when the "trailer" becomes operational in 2012, it will operate seasonally and cannot mitigate seaplane racket, helicopter or jet noise. The 537-LOUD complaint number merely records complaints and, since its inception, there is no evidence that this tool has had a discernible impact.
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 05:24 AM
Is the airport being expanded? It will be. The recently approved Airport Layout Plan uses a larger aircraft around which all improvements to the EH facility will be designed. That IS expansion.
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 05:25 AM
Does the airport need to take FAA funding to install a deer fence? It does not. Not with $1.5 million resting in its coffers and a fencing repair that would likely cost under $400,000. Over the past 10 years, the FAA recorded three strike incidents at the EH airport involving deer, only one of which caused significant damage. This "safety and repair" work is merely a ploy to get voters to believe that the airport urgently needs funds.
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 05:26 AM
Does a control tower alleviate neighborhood noise? No, it does not. A seasonal control trailer/tower will bring increased safety measures to the airport; it will not be a panacea for noise and other troublesome issues at the airport. It will allow an FAA-funded "controller" to redirect traffic--in effect just spreading the noise around the expanded perimeter of the FAA control area of 10 miles, over other homes that have not yet experienced the noise levels many of us live with, each year.
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 05:28 AM
Would rejecting FAA funds give the town control over operations at the airport? Yes. And it is the law in NY State. Not a political opinion of the law but of the actual court which is the arbiter of federal law in our jurisdiction, until the United States Supreme Court says otherwise. Therefore the only law that counts in this fight, local control of the airport will occur when the four grant assurances which cover the proprietor's power to restrict access to control noise expire in December 2014.
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 05:28 AM
Does rejecting FAA funds hurt the town financially? No. The town currently has a surplus of $1.5 million. It clearly does not need another polluting dollar of FAA money and it does not need taxpayer subsidy. Asking taxpayers to subsidize others' use of our airport is akin to asking taxpayers to subsidize yacht slips at local marinas. And 77% of the users are not local residents; they reside in other counties and states. Requiring airport users to pay equitable rates for landing and parking rights will not hurt the town or the taxpayers financially; rather it would be a fiscally responsible action on the part of the town and airport management to immediately impose such requirements.
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 05:30 AM
Does the airport benefit all town residents? No. The statistics quoted in the EHAA ad are grossly misleading. Rescue and other helicopters can take off virtually anywhere, on a road or beach, in a field--we see such rescues with accident victims, especially during the season, evacuating victims to Stony Brook or other hospitals; helicopters rise vertically, they do not need a large tarmac at the airport. In the event of a hurricane or catastrophic event the airport more than likely would also be rendered useless if the entire area is impacted.
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 05:30 AM
Do FAA Grant assurances expire in 2014? Yes. The four important "grant assurances" which return local control to East Hampton and which most adversely impact residents, expire on December 31, 2014. They are the four grant assurances which cover the proprietor's power to restrict access to control noise.
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 05:31 AM
Do airport opponents want to close the airport? No. This claim is blatantly false, and is intended only to scare residents and voters before the upcoming election. The goals of QSC are, quite simply, to return control of the airport to local hands, so that the town can impose curfews, limit the type of aircraft using the airport and limit the number of flights--just as Southampton Village--which has never accepted FAA funding--does with total local control over their municipal "heliport".
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 05:32 AM
Do residents oppose accepting FAA funds? No. It is not true that only 4% of residents in East Hampton favor rejecting FAA funds. An increasing number of residents are calling for the airport to be scaled back, not expanded. Approximately 1% of the people in EH town benefit in some way from the airport-- that means that 99% do not. QSC tried on Friday, but was unable to reach a spokesperson for the EHAA to verify the source of the figure of 4% of residents quoted in their ads, mostly likely taken from a poll more than 5 years ago.
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 05:34 AM
98 Aircraft Operations (Landings/Take offs) between 3:00-6:00 pm Fri. 8/19/11 3-4 PM 5 helicopter landings, 5 helicopter take offs 9 plane/jet landings, 10 take offs including some huge jets 4-5 PM 3 helicopter landings, 4 take offs 9 plane/jet take offs, 9 landings (includes one touch and go) 5-6 PM 9 helicopter landings, 9 take offs 18 plane/jet landings, 8 take offs (includes 4 touch and goes) Every 1.836 minutes on a recent Friday afternoon a aircraft either landed or departed This is a VERY LARGE COMMERCIAL 12 months of the year operation owned, operated, and protected by the Town of East Hampton, for the benefit of a only handful of wealthy people. The NOISE and POLLUTION caused by these aircraft is what we want stopped. Only the East Hampton Town Board can take control - please demand that they do so.
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 05:36 AM
Links You Might Find Useful: http://www.ehhelicopternoise.com/ East Hampton Helicopter Noise - One of the Best ! Flight Aware - Live Flight Tracking at East Hampton Airport
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 05:38 AM
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/no-to-faa-funding-for-east-hampton-airport/
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 05:46 AM
The following information comes from Quiet Skies Coalition website information. The entries address one question and the answer.
SuzyScuba December 06, 2011 at 06:12 AM
NORTH FORK RESIDENT Kevin O'Mara: Cutchogue: "EH is a private airport,and should be supported solely by those who use it. FAA funding is a mistake for economic reasons, and will damage forever the quality of life. Finally, once under FAA control, who is to say that commerical aircraft flights from New York, Boston and Washington will not begin to be scheduled directly into EH."
Fact Checker December 08, 2011 at 01:24 AM
Is it true you are related to the paid attorney for the airport opponents?
Fact Checker December 08, 2011 at 01:25 AM
Is it true you are related to the paid attorney for the airport opponents?
SuzyScuba December 08, 2011 at 01:29 AM
It is true I am a 30 year resident who is concerned about the future of our town. I am an independent mind. And who may I ask are you "Fact Checker?" Being anonymous means you prefer to hide.

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