East Hampton Town has gotten Federal Aviation Administration approval to open a summer control tower at the town-owned airport in Wainscott. The approval includes a designation that the area within 10 miles of the airport will be under FAA control.
The approval came because the FAA formally approved the town’s Airport Layout Plan, effectively accepting the facility’s physical layout and operation, according to Town Councilman Dominick Stanzione.
The approval also allows the town to seek grants from the FAA for airport improvements.
The last time East Hampton had FAA approval for its airport layout plan was in 1989, town officials said. Supervisor William Wilkinson said the town will begin the work needed to get a seasonal control tower operating.
The airport covers about 560 acres and has three runways; the longest is 4,255 feet long. Charter, seasonal and helicopter services are frequent between May and October, with the airfield logging 16,000 aircraft a year. The airport has no daily commercial flights.
It is currently classified as uncontrolled airspace, which allows aircraft to take off and land when visibility is one mile or more.
Above, helicopters land at East Hampton Town Airport last year.