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East Hampton officials appeal ban on weekly limit for noisy aircraft

A helicopter departs from the East Hampton Town

A helicopter departs from the East Hampton Town Airport in Wainscott on Nov. 11, 2014. Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Town of East Hampton officials Wednesday appealed last month's federal court injunction against a local law that restricts noisy aircraft operations at East Hampton Airport to one trip a week.

Three laws imposing use restrictions on certain operations at the Wainscott airport were adopted in April by the town board, but Friends of East Hampton Airport, a coalition of helicopter operators and their allies, sued the board, arguing the measures are illegal.

The airport advocacy group members said the federal government regulates air traffic and asked for an injunction to stop the laws from going into effect while the case was argued in court.

In her June decision, U.S. District Court Judge Joanna Seybert upheld the town's right to impose two of three curfews the board passed: a mandatory 11 p.m.-7 a.m. nighttime curfew and an extended 8 p.m.-9 a.m. curfew on noisy aircraft. Both were implemented July 2 and are effective year-round.

Seybert issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the one-trip-per-week limit on noisy aircraft from going into effect. It was to be in place from May through September.

"We believe all three laws are lawful and necessary to protect the quality of life on the East End," Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said Wednesday in a news release. "These three laws are the result of careful, thoughtful and transparent balancing by the Town Board. We are hopeful that the Court of Appeals will recognize that all three laws are essential to address the problem of excessive aircraft noise."

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