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Babylon Town unlikely to oppose Republic Airport tenant's expansion plan

Babylon Town officials had few major criticisms of

Babylon Town officials had few major criticisms of a New York State report on the proposed expansion of the airport's main tenant. Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin, 2011

A plan to greatly expand the footprint of Republic Airport’s main tenant seems unlikely to draw opposition from Babylon Town.

Town officials had few major criticisms of a New York State report that found proposed development by servicing company Sheltair, along with runway improvements, would have little adverse impact on communities surrounding the 530-acre airport in East Farmingdale.

“Overall,” town officials wrote in a review, the report “was found to be acceptable in scope and detail.”

However, officials faulted the report for not fully addressing the noise effect of “an increase in jet and large aircraft flights” on the surrounding community. While the report found that development would cause no increase in long-term noise exposure, it did not acknowledge short-term or “single event noise exposure” caused by individual flights.

Town officials also wrote that the report was based partly on outdated studies and guidelines, and asked that these be updated. A town spokesman said the revisions were unlikely to be significant enough to alter the town’s stance.

The state and town reports come after introduction of a plan to shift airport runways to add safety areas behind them that would affect Sheltair’s existing facilities in the northern part of the airport.

The company would relocate and expand into a 41-acre partly wooded section in the south, removing shrub land, pitch pine and oak forest to make way for seven new 30,000-square-foot hangars and 42,000 square feet of office space, 503 parking spots and new fuel tanks.

The new hangars would expand the company’s ability to service jet aircraft.

Airport manager Mike Geiger could not immediately be reached yesterday.

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