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AOPA ASKS EAST HAMPTON TO RECONSIDER RESTRICTIONSAOPA ASKS EAST HAMPTON TO RECONSIDER RESTRICTIONS

AOPA has joined other aviation associations in urging town leaders to reconsider four proposed municipal laws that would impose extensive restrictions on East Hampton Airport in New York.

“Airports like East Hampton can be great community assets, but too many restrictions can stop them from serving the people and businesses that depend on them,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “We want to continue working with town leaders to resolve the issues facing the airport in ways that won’t compromise its utility and value.”

The March 5 letter from AOPA, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) to Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell warns that four proposed municipal laws to restrict airport operations could undermine the long-term value of the airport and lead to years of court battles.

“The imposition and structure of the proposed restrictions and investment plan will have a detrimental impact on HTO-based aviation businesses resulting in reduced revenues, investment and job loss,” the groups warned.

The proposed restrictions are based, in part, on noise complaints and apparent traffic growth at the airport from 2013 to 2014, but the aviation groups suggest those traffic figures may be suspect because poor weather artificially reduced 2013 operations. The associations urged the town to compare operations over a broader timeframe to gain a more accurate picture of growth. The associations also asked the town to take a closer look at noise complaints to ensure that they are not the result of efforts by a small group of individuals to “drive town leaders toward a radical and unnecessary over-reaction.”

The letter also warned that the proposal raises significant legal questions regarding the town’s ability to impose restrictions on airport operations and the FAA’s ability to waive enforcement of grant assurances.

“Simply put, East Hampton Airport is part of a national system of airports, and operational restrictions like those under consideration present a threat to the national air transportation system that transcends local communities,” the groups wrote.

Representatives of the three aviation associations met with Cantwell and Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez on Feb. 27 in Washington, D.C., to discuss the proposed restrictions.

The municipal laws would make a now-voluntary 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. flight curfew mandatory seven days a week, ban the operation of “noisy” aircraft with a published approach noise level of 91 decibels or greater between 8 p.m. and 9 a.m., ban helicopter operations on weekends and holidays from May through September, and prohibit “noisy” aircraft from “more than two uses of the airport by an individual aircraft during a calendar week” from May through September.

AOPA Communications staff

Topics: Aviation Organizations, National Business Aviation Association

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March 12, 2015

          Contact: Steve Hedges
          301-695-2159
          [email protected]

 

FREDERICK, MD – The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has joined other aviation associations in urging town leaders to reconsider four proposed municipal laws that would impose extensive restrictions on East Hampton Airport (HTO).

“Airports like East Hampton can be great community assets, but too many restrictions can stop them from serving the people and businesses that depend on them,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “We want to continue working with town leaders to resolve the issues facing the airport in ways that won’t compromise its utility and value.”

The March 5 letter from AOPA, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) to Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell warns that four proposed municipal laws to restrict airport operations could undermine the long-term value of the airport and lead to years of court battles.

“The imposition and structure of the proposed restrictions and investment plan will have a detrimental impact on HTO-based aviation businesses resulting in reduced revenues, investment and job loss,” the groups warned.

The proposed restrictions are based, in part, on noise complaints and apparent traffic growth at the airport from 2013 to 2014, but the aviation groups suggest those traffic figures may be suspect because poor weather artificially reduced 2013 operations. The associations urged the town to compare operations over a broader timeframe to gain a more accurate picture of growth. The associations also asked the town to take a closer look at noise complaints to ensure that they are not the result of efforts by a small group of individuals to “drive town leaders toward a radical and unnecessary over-reaction.”

The letter also warned that the proposal raises significant legal questions regarding the town’s ability to impose restrictions on airport operations and the FAA’s ability to waive enforcement of grant assurances.

“Simply put, East Hampton Airport is part of a national system of airports, and operational restrictions like those under consideration present a threat to the national air transportation system that transcends local communities,” the groups wrote.

Representatives of the three aviation associations met with Cantwell and Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez on Feb. 27 in Washington, D.C. to discuss the proposed restrictions.

The municipal laws would make a now-voluntary 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. flight curfew mandatory seven days a week, ban the operation of “noisy” aircraft with a published approach noise level of 91 decibels or greater between 8 p.m. and 9 a.m., ban helicopter operations on weekends and holidays from May through September, and prohibit “noisy” aircraft from “more than two uses of the airport by an individual aircraft during a calendar week” from May through September.

 

ABOUT AOPA

Since 1939, AOPA has protected the freedom to fly for thousands of pilots, aircraft owners and aviation enthusiasts. AOPA is the world’s largest aviation member association, with representatives based in Frederick, Md., Washington, D.C., Wichita, Kans., and seven regions across the United States. AOPA provides member services that range from advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels to legal services, flight planning products, safety programs and award-winning media. To learn more, visit www.aopa.org. 

- AOPA -

15-1-025

 

AOPA Communications staff

Topics: Aviation Organizations, National Business Aviation Association

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