November 13, 2014
Airport Study Called Misleading
By Joanne Pilgrim
The East Hampton Star


Bill Wilkinson joins opponents as town’s noise analysis alarms industry

Pilots and aviation groups opposed to restricting the use of East Hampton Airport continued this week to voice absolute disagreement with the analysis of aircraft noise in a $60,000 draft study by consultants, and they have referred it to the Suffolk County comptroller for an investigation into whether the study was a misuse of taxpayer funds.

The East Hampton Town Board has vowed to pursue responses to ongoing complaints about noise, which drew hundreds of people from across the East End to a meeting in August.

In a press release from the public relations firm S.K.D. Knickerbocker, the Friends of the East Hampton Airport and its spokesman, Jeff Smith, who is also the chairman of the Eastern Region Helicopter Council, said the noise study was based on flawed data and is “wildly misleading and inaccurate.”

Joining the opposition was former East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson, now a paid consultant for the Friends of the East Hampton Airport coalition. In an open letter to the people of East Hampton, Mr. Wilkinson said he was not paid to write the letter and was speaking as a former supervisor rather than in his new capacity.

The group charged that the study was “created purely for public relations reasons to help the board in its desire to impose arbitrary and unreasonable restrictions on [the] airport.”

In his letter Mr. Wilkinson said the “presentations regarding the use and safety of the airport have clearly demonstrated a stunning lack of accuracy and abundance of politics.” Airport limits, he said, will “affect all of our economies and our ability to respond in an emergency.”

The former supervisor, who said in the letter that he has “no further political aspirations,” also said he had been hesitant to comment about town government but chose to weigh in on the future of the airport “this one time, for fear that certain town assets are at great risk and absent decision-makers with a strong financial résumé and vision, the taxpayers will eventually bear an unhealthy burden of current shortsightedness.”

During his administration Mr. Wilkinson opposed rejecting new Federal Aviation Administration grants in order to gain more local control over the airport. The East Hampton Town Board now believes rejecting such grants could enable flight restrictions to limit noise if the town can prove the extent of the problem.

“I find it incredulous that we would burden our taxpayers by bonding for airport maintenance and improvements, when we already pay a surcharge every time we board a commercial airline for the very dollars that some are rejecting now — F.A.A. grants. Adequate bonding will require tax revenue for payment and a significant increase in the property taxes we pay as East Hampton residents. There is no need for double taxation,” Mr. Wilkinson said.

An economic analysis of the airport bythe town’s budget and finance advisory committee this year concluded that the airport could be self-sustaining — a determination that the aviation industry coalition has also called into question.

But in the press release, Mr. Smith charged that “some members of the town board have an agenda to kill this airport,” something the board has denied.

The aviation group amped up its public relations campaign after the town board adopted a resolution in September vowing to make decisions about possible restrictions at the airport before the 2015 summer season.

In its press release, the Friends of the East Hampton Airport said aviation experts whom it had consulted found the town’s noise study, conducted by Young Environmental Sciences and the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, “misused data and used incorrect routes” to determine aviators’ compliance with voluntary, requested routes designed for noise reduction.

In an email, Loren Riegelhaupt, the public relations representative, said the experts included former “airport manager Jim Brundage [sic] and we also consulted with some of the leading sound/aviation experts in the region.”

Pressed to provide names, he cited one, Shelly A. Exalt, a Princeton, N.J., attorney. “There are some others,” Mr. Riegelhaupt said, “who prefer not to be named as they fear, understandably so, that they will be attacked by people who have strong emotions about the issue.”

Close to 400 residents from Southold, Riverhead, Shelter Island, Southampton, Sag Harbor, and neighboring villages and hamlets attended a meeting convened by the East Hampton Town Board in late August to collect anecdotal evidence about problematic aircraft noise.

The resolution the town board adopted in September acknowledged that the airport “provides useful transportation facilities which are important to, and are used by residents, visitors, and businesses in both East Hampton and the South Fork of Long Island” and said the town was committed to “operating a safe and properly maintained facility,” asserted that the board had “determined that it is prudent and in the best interest of communities both within and outside the town . . . to take action to reduce the level of community disturbance from noise associated with aviation operations.” Other East End municipalities have adopted resolutions asking the town to adopt a comprehensive aircraft noise limitation policy.

A Correction

The number of complaints made so far this year about helicopter flights into and out of East Hampton Airport was cited incorrectly in a story in last week’s Star.

A total of 15,329 complaints have been made this year about helicopter noise — not 2,023, as was reported last week. Over all, 22,700 complaints have been made about noise from all kinds of aircraft, 68 percent of them about helicopters.

Of the complaints about chopper noise, 2,023 were made between the hours of 5 and 6 p.m. — more than at any other time during the day.


See the original article here.

 
News Archive
April 16, 2017
Helicopter drops over 25,000 eggs for Easter

February 18, 2017
The Secret Service of the Skies

February 14, 2017
U.S. Helicopter Accident Numbers Continue to Decline

January 29, 2017
Santa Monica will finally close its airport—in 2028

December 30, 2016
US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Rules Federal Law Preempts Local Airport Regulations

November 4, 2016
Federal Appeals Court Blocks East Hampton Airport Curfews Until Lawsuit Is Settled

October 18, 2016
Million Air breaks ground at Westchester County Airport

October 4, 2016
Air Traffic At East Hampton Airport Was Up This Summer

July 28, 2016
North Shore helicopter route extension causes public outcry

July 24, 2016
FAA adopts extension of helicopter route; congressman calls for immediate action

May 26, 2016
FAA Denies L.A. Anti-helicopter Petitions

May 11, 2016
NYPD rescues two boaters stranded on island on Jamaica Bay

April 22, 2016
US Senate sends FAA reauthorization bill to the House

April 17, 2016
East Hills seeks help from Nassau in suing FAA over noise

April 12, 2016
Touchdown autorotations removed from helicopter CFI test

March 3, 2016
New tech gives US helicopter pilots 'Superman-style' vision

February 1, 2016
Not Everyone Is Cheering Limits on Helicopter Tours

January 28, 2016
City Nears Deal to Cut Helicopter Tours in Half

January 15, 2016
GE relocation could yield a public helipad and more ferries

November 12, 2015
Mayor de Blasio Opposes Proposed Ban of Tourist Helicopters

October 6, 2015
Heli Steering Committee to Host Forum This Month

September 19, 2015
Blading to the Hamptons with the 'Uber for Helicopters'

August 7, 2015
No Fly Zone: Council Members Push Helicopter, Drone Regulations

July 23, 2015
ERHC Response to Propsed NYC Air Tour Ban

June 29, 2015
HTO Curfews Will Take Effect July 2 After Judge Denies Injunction

May 18, 2015
East Hampton Town Will Hold Off On Airport Restrictions

April 21, 2015
FOEHA Sues Town Over Newly Adopted Restrictions

April 17, 2015
Hamptons town limits aircraft noise amid growing complaints

March 13, 2015
Dozens speak, hundreds meet at East End helicopter noise discussion

February 18, 2015
Officials to unveil new legislation to combat tourist helicopters over Hudson River

January 29, 2015
Legal eagles going to war over East Hampton Airport

January 21, 2015
Airport Noise Committee Recommends Curfews, Limits and Banning The Loudest Choppers

January 15, 2015
Oil price plunge could leave helicopters sputtering

December 12, 2014
The Independent Editorial of East Hampton

November 20, 2014
Pilots report drone sightings near JFK Airport

November 18, 2014
East Hampton Town Hires Second Noise Analysis Consultant

November 13, 2014
Airport Study Called Misleading

November 12, 2014
Refusing federal funds will allow East Hampton Town to control airport noise, officials say

November 11, 2014
Campaign to Ban Helicopters Hurts Veterans and is Driven by Fear

November 10, 2014
Aviation Community Unhappy With East Hampton Airport Noise Report, Says Money Was Not Well Spent

November 7, 2014
Former East Hampton Supervisor Writes Open Letter On Airport Noise

October 21, 2014
Fueling Company Sues East Hampton Town Over Increased Airport Fees

September 30, 2014
NYPD Helicopter Pilot Tracks Down Suspect Who Allegedly Pointed Laser In Queens

September 10, 2014
Sag Harbor Joins Airport Foes

August 26, 2014
As Anger Mounts, Town Announces Meeting on Airport Noise

August 8, 2014
NY, NJ Lawmakers Call For Eliminating Tourist Helicopter Flights Along Hudson River

July 23, 2014
Heli Noise at an Unbearable All-Time High, Says Sag Harbor CAC

May 26, 2014
Aviation Groups Fighting for East Hampton Airport

May 12, 2014
NYPD Helicopter Crew Rescues Injured Hiker

April 5, 2014
FAA Issues Final Stage 3 Helicopter Noise Rule

March 7, 2014
Member Call to Action: Oppose New User Fees

February 26, 2014
Resolution Introduced at Today's Stated

February 20, 2014
FAA Issues Final Rule to Improve Helicopter Safety

January 27, 2014
New Helicopter Business Takes to the Skies

January 7, 2014
First Visualisation of Helicopter Noise

December 5, 2013
F.A.A. $$ May Jeopardize Anti-Noise Bids

November 1, 2013
Pilot, Sailor Gould A. Ryder III dies at 65

October 29, 2013
Study Shows Airport's Economic Impact on East Hampton

September 26, 2013
Tension in the air, as Hudson residents and officials battle helicopter tour industry

September 13, 2013
ERHC NAMES NEW CHAIRMAN MICHAEL PHILBIN

August 21, 2013
NASA Plans to Crash Helicopter to Study Safety

July 1, 2013
Hudson River Incident

April 9, 2013
Fatigue Management Seminar

February 27, 2013
ERHC Fly Neighborly Kickoff Meeting

November 9, 2012
Helicopters flown by volunteer pilots land at SIUH with relief supplies

November 8, 2012
Hurricane Sandy Relief

November 5, 2012
ERHC Offers Their Service For Sandy Recovery Efforts

November 3, 2012
Helicopter Emergency Response, Hurricane Sandy.

November 1, 2012
NY/NJ Helicopter Industry Cleaning Up After Sandy

October 15, 2012
Sag Harbor Express

September 17, 2012
Tragic Loss of a Friend

August 9, 2012
FAA’s LI Mandatory Noise Route Under Scrutiny

July 17, 2012
Officials Say Noise Down at Airport

July 10, 2012
RESIDENTS: NO RELIEF FROM NOISE

July 3, 2012
NBAA Conducting Business Aviation Pilot Training Survey

June 15, 2012
Pending Congressional Action Threatens Your Access to Airspace

May 24, 2012
New Push to Deal with L.A. Helicopter Noise

May 5, 2012
Should We Regulate Helicopter Noise? Montrose, CA

May 1, 2012
HAI President's Call to Action: To maintain airspace access, we need you to act now.

April 29, 2012
Helicopter Group's LI Aircraft Noise Plan

April 26, 2012
Dangerous Senate Amendment Threatens Air Tour Industry

March 22, 2012
Emergency Response Drill

March 13, 2012
Fly Neighborly Kickoff & IFR Symposium

January 10, 2012
Kearny Heliport

December 25, 2011
Happy Holidays!

October 5, 2011
East River Accident

February 21, 2011
Hero NYPD Cops Rescue West Point Cadets Who Were Stuck on 800-ft High Cliff

February 18, 2011
New Helicopter Restrictions Proposed!

February 8, 2011
Volunteers Needed for the Red Zone Full Scale Exercise

December 29, 2010
Times Square New Years Eve TFR 2010-2011

December 10, 2010
***JRB AIRSIDE RECONFIGURATION & SOP ISSUANCE***

November 24, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving!!

July 1, 2010
LONG ISLANDERS, PILOTS, AVIATION INDUSTRY OFFICIALS AGREE: PROPOSED FAA HELICOPTER REGULATIONS SHOULD BE GROUNDED BEFORE TAKEOFF

July 1, 2010
Downloadable NPRM Comments

May 27, 2010
FAA Issues NPRM mandating VFR Routes over Long Island Sound.

April 30, 2010
City of New York Announces New Helicopter Sightseeing Plan

March 26, 2010
WAAS Happening!

March 15, 2010
Annual Fly Neighborly Meeting and IFR Symposium

March 1, 2010
ERHC hosts HAI Fly Neighborly Booth

February 15, 2010
Hudson River Class B Transition Route Chart & New York Special Flight Rules Chart

February 10, 2010
Washington DC Helicopter RNAV Route Meeting Has Been Rescheduled

January 28, 2010
Outstanding Meeting last night!!!!!!!!

January 22, 2010
ERHC honored for work on NY Task Force.

January 15, 2010
Winter General Meeting - January 27, 2010

November 26, 2009
Chairman's Holiday Message

November 18, 2009
New ERHC Website!

November 15, 2009
Winter General Meeting

October 17, 2009
Helicoptering in and around NYC is Safe

September 15, 2009
Annual Meeting in three days!

September 11, 2009
Heliport Drill Sept 19

 

HOMEPAGE | ERHC NEWS | ABOUT ERHC | MEETINGS | FORUM | CONTACT INFO

TERMS OF USE | PRIVACY | CUSTOMIZE HOMEPAGE | HELP