Letter to Editor – East Hampton Press, Aug. 18, 2011

The Editor,

If one resides under an air route over the South or North Fork, summer can be unpleasant. Peace is shattered day and night by jets, sea planes, helicopters and small planes. The noise is not caused by the few local aviation aficionados, but by commercial operators ferrying folk to and from New York and by a few wealthy individuals who choose not to travel by rail or road and, ironically, spread pollution over the very areas they visit to enjoy its beauty! They leave large carbon footprints all over the East End.

Imagine sitting on your deck, wiping grimy black residue from aircraft fuel exhaust from garden furniture and worrying how much has fallen on your vegetable garden or into the pool where the kids are gulping water as they splash and dive. Unregulated low flying helicopters providing guided tours over your beach, garden or home; it’s not a prediction, families are dealing with this now.

Check the terrifying images on www.ehhelicopternoise.com and see what you could in future experience over your home anywhere on the North or South Fork.

In February 2011, the FAA predicted air travel will more than double by 2031; with limited air routes to the Hamptons, East Hampton Airport will share the burden, so you too can expect to experience aircraft noise throughout the “season”. And if the unsympathetic East Hampton Town Board votes as intended, and accepts even one dollar of FAA money when the current agreement expires in December 2014, there will be little you will be able to do for 20 years to prevent air noise and fuel pollution over your neighborhood. For 20 years, East Hampton Airport will have FAA money and free reign to receive and dispatch at whim over North and South Forks possibly double the numbers of aircraft they accept today.

I sat recently on the deck of a home in East Hampton. In two hours 18 planes, 5 jets and 3 helicopters flew overhead or close enough to impede conversation. East Hampton Town has the power to exclude aircraft from the airport yet Town Board members have refused to act to alleviate traffic over homes. These are not homes of the ultra rich; they are homes of thousands of hardworking families on both Forks who would like to enjoy summer outdoors and cannot. Whether you’re on North or South Fork, make Town Board elections a priority; insure candidates state their position on aircraft noise, then vote accordingly and hold them accountable. In East Hampton if the Board votes to accept FAA finance it will be 20 years before you’ll again have an opportunity to bring about peaceful skies.

P. Currie


Published The SH Press, 18 August 2011

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