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East Hampton could get airport noise report next month

Flight path changes are over Southampton now instead

Flight path changes are over Southampton now instead of East Hampton, causing all sorts of noise troubles as a helicopter lands at East Hampton Airport. (Aug. 22, 2012) (Credit: John Roca)

East Hampton Town officials hope to get a preliminary report on airport noise next month which, they say, could lead to a change in air traffic patterns that have resulted in hundreds of noise complaints from neighboring Southampton Town residents.

Noise complaints started growing in August, when a new flight pattern to the airport was mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration as a way of dealing with other noise complaints in Nassau and Suffolk counties caused primarily by helicopters going to the East End.

The town hired firms in an effort to determine where the noise was creating complaints and to try to identify which planes and pilots were the cause of the problem.

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At a town board meeting on Thursday, Supervisor Bill Wilkinson said a preliminary report on the noise problem caused by planes using East Hampton Airport is expected to be filed sometime in January.

Councilwoman Theresa Quigley said that obtaining detailed information about aircraft noise — such as time, intensity and direction — would be vital in getting the FAA to again consider changing the approach route to the Wainscott airport.

“You can’t just ask ... You need a lot of data,” she said.

Wilkinson said that while the route change had been requested by one town board member in discussions with the FAA, there never was a formal vote by the town board to seek it. He expressed frustration over owning an airport but not having control over its use.

The town could use the data being collected to attempt to limit airport approaches or restrict the hours that could be used for takeoffs and landings, town officials said.

Tags: East Hampton Airport

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