AOPA worked with the aviation community in East Hampton, New York, to develop Pilot Pledge II—a voluntary program for flight operations at East Hampton Airport designed to ease concerns about noise from the surrounding community.
Erin King Sweeney, executive director of the East Hampton Community Alliance (ECHA), presented the pledge at an East Hampton town government work session on May 16.
Piston and propeller aircraft operators are encouraged to follow AOPA Noise Awareness Steps and limit operations during peak commuter hours. The pledge also outlines specific instructions for seaplane, jet, and helicopter operators.
For years, AOPA has been actively engaged in stakeholder meetings to protect public access to East Hampton Airport, as efforts from some residents to restrict operations at the airport continue.
The most recent effort to address operations was an attempt to convert the airport from a public-use facility to a private-use, prior permission required airport in April 2022. This change was overturned in October by a state court ruling. The New York State Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the township from implementing any restrictions at the airport or permanently closing the facility. However, efforts to restrict and limit aircraft operations at the airport continue, especially as operations increase during the summer season.
The aviation community, stakeholders, and pilots in East Hampton are eager to work with the town to ease concerns surrounding airport operations without unjustly limiting access to the airport. During the town council meeting, East Hampton Airport Director Jim Brundige spoke to the success of the Pilot Pledge program that was originally developed in 2021, and the ATC manager, airport manager, and Eastern Region Helicopter Council presented helicopter flight paths that will be used this summer.
The newly formed Hamptons User’s Group—consisting of aircraft operators, airport staff, representatives from EHCA, and a town board airport liaison—“will meet in-person once a month during the season (May, June, July, August and September) and every other month off-season (November, January and March), to review noise data and make adjustments to the voluntary noise abatement program as needed,” according to the pledge.
The East Hampton town government did not reject the Pilot Pledge II proposal on May 16. Pilots planning to conduct operations at East Hampton should familiarize themselves with the guidelines and, as safety allows, adhere to the directions outlined in the pledge. AOPA is seeking the township’s official recognition of these efforts by the aviation community.