Failed Miserably – Letter to the Editor, East Hampton Star, July 23, 2012

Dear David,

Again, I am shocked and appalled at another Peter Wadsworth letter. Last week, he shamelessly continued to personally attack leaders of the Quiet Skies Coalition. The letter was patronizing and dripping with sarcasm.

Mr. Wadsworth has his facts wrong again. He hurls baseless accusations against the only organization addressing noise at the airport that has accomplished significant results in less than one year of existence. Mr. Wadsworth wasted many years of his time at the East Hampton Airport Noise Abatement Advisory Committee that failed miserably, just as noise abatement, as a strategy, failed miserably at airports all over this country. Perhaps it’s just sour grapes.

Please allow me to try this again by addressing Mr. Wadsworth personally. He doesn’t seem to get it. Helicopter noise is “torture and torment” for the folks on the ground. Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Tim Bishop coined this term. Mr. Wadsworth, if you were beating me with a baseball bat and you reduced the number of hits 50 percent, am I supposed to be happy with those results? Or, will I be happy when you stop beating me altogether?

Please allow me to approach this from his noise-abatement perspective, which is similar to Councilman Dominick Stanzione’s “share the pain” strategy. Mr. Wadsworth, instead of just beating me on the head, suppose you wish to spread the pain around by hitting me on my back, hitting me on my stomach, hitting me on my knees, then hitting me on my feet. Is that supposed to make me feel better? Or, will I be happy when you stop hitting me altogether? Don’t you see how silly the “share the pain” strategy is? Don’t you understand why the advisory committee failed miserably? Don’t you understand why noise abatement failed miserably at airports all over this country? If it weren’t so silly, it would be crazy.

I, not all Q.S.C. members, wish to eliminate helicopters from landing at East Hampton Airport. I also wish to see stage-2 aircraft, which includes the noisiest aircraft and helicopters, excluded from the airport. I offered a solution to the East Hampton Town supervisor and members of the town board that solves the problem so simply and completely it’s mind-boggling it hasn’t been implemented yet:

All helicopters must take the northern route, offshore along the North Shore of Long Island, until a waypoint between Plum Island and Gull Island, then turn south and head directly into Montauk Airport. Montauk Airport is situated on Block Island Sound. That route doesn’t cause helicopters to fly over any residential properties on Long Island or on the East End, thereby eliminating the problem and solving the noise issue completely, forever. Montauk has an expanding and thriving business community with awesome restaurants, shops, stores, and even a new brewery. Why wouldn’t the Montauk business community love to have the wealthiest people in the world, who fly helicopters, drive by their fish markets, restaurants, shops, and businesses on their way home? If the 20-minute drive is too long for some helicopter passengers, perhaps they would relocate their summer home to Montauk, thus driving real estate prices through the roof. Perhaps a Montauk estate section will develop.

Perhaps the supervisor and the two town board members just aren’t smart enough. Perhaps they would rather play the silly games of failed noise abatement, as Mr. Wadsworth is suggesting. If it weren’t so silly, it would be crazy.