A Historic Decision – Letter to the Editor, East Hampton Star, March 18, 2015

Dear David,

As I sat listening to some of the opponents to the regulations for aircraft restrictions at the public hearing on March 12, I couldn’t help thinking they sounded like whining, spoiled, entitled, adolescent children. There are no guarantees in life. The Town of East Hampton owes no one a living at the airport. It is a privilege to use the airport. It is not a right.

When I heard the baseless fear-mongering and doomsday scenarios about the regulations wreaking havoc on the local economy and real estate values, and chasing folks to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, I couldn’t help noticing not one shred of evidence was submitted on which to base these fears, no data was cited to substantiate these claims, no study was commissioned to corroborate the scenarios, and more astonishingly, not even one affirmative solution was made to reduce aircraft noise in our region.

The town has done a fantastic job, made a heroic effort collecting many years of hard data of aircraft at the airport together with data from a noise complaint hotline run by an aviation interest group, commissioned several studies, heard expert testimony, convened community advisory groups, held two well-attended public hearings to listen to public testimony, and collected hundreds, maybe thousands of documents from experts and the public. The entire process was open and transparent. In my lifetime such a record can only be second to the adoption of the comprehensive plan, if my recollection is correct.

In a couple of days the public input period will close and the town board will make a historic decision to give the people in the region long-sought relief from the torture and torment of dirty, noisy helicopters. I pray the town board stays the course with a firm hand on the wheel and finds the strength and courage to adopt all four regulations as proposed. The residents of East Hampton and the entire Peconic region will be eternally grateful and will fully support such a decision, including those who made it. God Bless America.