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East End officials to review Hamptons helicopter noise efforts

Passengers wait to board a helicopter landing at

Passengers wait to board a helicopter landing at the Southampton Village heliport on Meadow Lane in Southampton, June 25, 2015. Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

East End officials and residents are scheduled to gather on the North Fork Thursday to discuss East Hampton Town's efforts to curb helicopter noise over eastern Long Island.

Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell and Suffolk County Legis. Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue) said in a news release that they organized the forum to foster a "continued discussion" about East Hampton's efforts since early last year to cut helicopter traffic between Manhattan and the town-owned East Hampton Airport in Wainscott.

Speakers are to include East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell; Kevin Dowling, an aide to Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley); Kathy Cunningham, chairwoman of the East Hampton-based anti-noise group Quiet Skies Coalition; and representatives of several citizens committees from the North Fork and South Fork.

Noise from helicopters -- and, to a lesser extent, seaplanes and jets -- traveling between Manhattan and the Hamptons has drawn tens of thousands of complaints in recent years from residents of the five East End towns: East Hampton, Southampton, Riverhead, Southold and Shelter Island.

In April, East Hampton officials passed three laws -- two nighttime curfews and a one-trip-per-week limit on noisy aircraft -- intended to reduce air traffic at the town airport. The laws followed more than a year of discussion by town officials, residents and helicopter operators.

The curfews went into effect last month, but a federal judge has ordered the town to refrain from enforcing the one-trip-per-week limit while a lawsuit with helicopter companies plays out.

The forum is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Southold Town Recreation Center on Peconic Lane in Peconic.

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