Going Round and Round – Letter to East Hampton Town Board, April 7, 2013

Dear Government Officials:

You have been going round and round for many years regarding helicopter routes to and from EHA. When will you publicly demand the obvious–that helicopter negatives  of awful noise, pollution, safety hazards, class warfare, fear, anxiety, decreasing property values, and damaging  our quality of life, to name several, outweigh the only positive, which is ease of travel for a minimal number of rich and selfish people. Other “false positives”, such as benefit to the local economy from these people arriving (as if they or comparable people wouldn’t come otherwise) and the nebulous “jobs” claim, which is actually about a handful of part-time jobs for non-residents, are simply too minor to have any merit. Why does the selfish and aggressive behavior of a few take precedence over the clear needs of the many? This is both irrational and unjust.

That being said (for the thousandth time by one more perfectly reasonable resident), stop this nonsensical pushing helicopter routes around–and get rid of the monstrosities as soon as possible. In the meantime, do everything to vilify and shame the operators and their clients who ignore local concerns regarding flying heights and curfews. And get a new airport manager who recognizes the severity of the problem and actually cares about the great majority of us who pay his or her salary.

And while you are at it, stop talking of “historic routes”,  because the “historic” route for helicopters was the power lines. The huge increase of helicopter traffic in the past decade led to that route foolishly being shifted and shifted and shifted again. At some point someone in a position of responsibility ought to deal with the obvious cause rather than keep NOT dealing with the intolerable symptoms.


Barry Raebeck, Ph.D.