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East Hampton addresses airport noise complaints

Helicopters at East Hampton Town Airport Friday afternoon

Helicopters at East Hampton Town Airport Friday afternoon in Wainscott. (August 6, 2010) Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

The East Hampton Town board last week passed four resolutions dealing with its municipal airport in Wainscott, three of which could eventually help reduce future noise complaints.

For more than a decade, a battle has raged between supporters of the airport and opponents who complain of the noise it brings; the battle has intensified as helicopters have become more common there.

The town board:

Hired Plane Noise, a Port Jefferson-based consulting service, for $15,000 a year to provide noise complaint management services, keeping track of aircraft on a 24-hour-a-day basis to determine which planes and helicopters are involved in noise complaints.

Hired Exelis of McLean, Va., to run the AirScene computer program to track incoming and outgoing flights at the airport as part of the town’s voluntary noise abatement program.

Hired Virginia-based Robinson Aviation to run the seasonal control tower which will go into operation at the airport for the first time around Memorial Day, at a cost of $342,000 a year. The tower is expected to reduce noise complaints by limiting low-flying approaches to the airfield.

Hired Virginia-based Vector Airport Solutions for $98,000 a year and agreed to buy $61,000 in specialized equipment to track arriving aircraft and bill them for landing fees, even if the aircraft do not have transponders.

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