Sky Will Not Fall – Letter to the Editor, East Hampton Star, March 29, 2015

Dear David:

With the East Hampton Town Board finally proposing to take meaningful action to reduce the burden of airport noise, aviation interests, those who make money by making noise, have been working hard to intimidate the board into doing nothing. A favored ploy has been predicting that the airport will be unable to sustain itself financially if aircraft operations are reduced in number. This is theatrical nonsense. It is time to put it to rest.

At the airport finance subcommittee meeting last Friday, the chairman, Arthur Malman, reported that even Jeff Smith, head of the Eastern Region Helicopter Council, agrees that landing fees at East Hampton couldn’t be raised high enough to reduce traffic.

The implication of completely inelastic demand for access to the airport is that landing fees will certainly be more than enough to meet the airport’s financial needs. Indeed, the fee increase necessary if the proposed rules are adopted amounts to about three minutes of additional flying time for all aircraft types. The sky will not be falling any time soon.

The record to support the board’s proposed rules is overwhelming. The airport can be a good neighbor while serving local needs if the board now moves forward and adopts its proposals. Action is long past due.