June 29, 2015
HTO Curfews Will Take Effect July 2 After Judge Denies Injunction
The Southampton Press
by Michael Wright

A federal judge will allow East Hampton Town to impose curfews on all aircraft flying in and out of East Hampton Airport, beginning next weekend, but granted an injunction to an aviation group against limits on the number of times an individual aircraft may land at the airport.

U.S. District Court Judge Joanna Seybert on Friday afternoon issued her ruling on the injunction requests brought by the Friends of East Hampton Airport, a coalition of aviation businesses and pilots that has opposed the town's planned restrictions on flight traffic, an effort to alleviate noise after years of complaints from residents.

The judge declined to issue an injunction against the curfews that were adopted by the town board this spring, but that have yet to be implemented.

The new rules will restrict all aircraft use of the airport to between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., year-round, and will limit exceptionally loud aircraft, like helicopters and very large private jets, to the hours of 8 p.m. and 9 a.m.

Judge Seybert granted an injunction against one of the adopted regulations, which says that an individual aircraft may only make one take-off and landing at the airport per week.

All three rules are the focus of a lawsuit filed by the aviation coalition that will determine whether the towns rules are allowed to remain in place in the long term.

"We are gratified that the court enjoined the one-trip limit, finding it to be drastic and unreasonable," said Loren Riegelhaupt, a spokesman for the aviation coalition. "We are carefully reviewing the decision and appellate options regarding the curfews."

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said on Friday that the new rules will go into effect at midnight on July 2.

“We’re pleased the judge has acknowledged that the Town was justified in adopting restrictions to provide relief to the growing number of people who are negatively affected by aircraft noise," Mr. Cantwell said in a statement released by the town on Friday evening. "Although we regret that one of the key laws cannot be enforced for the time being, we are gratified that the court recognized that the law allows the kind of restrictions that are essential to protect the residents of this Town.”


See the original article here.
 
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