Montauk United

Providing Montauk Residents a Means to Speak and Act as One!

The Airport Issue: Pass the trash? No way.

Posted by Barry S Raebeck on June 6, 2021 at 11:15 AM

It is logical that people in Montauk are concerned that closure of East Hampton Airport (KHTO) could negatively impact you in terms of increased unwanted aircraft operations. What you fear is what everyone on Long Island in the current EHA flight paths presently is forced to endure. What you and all of us are already experiencing from aircraft operations regionally and globally is acceleration of the climate crisis.

However, to fight this serious problem by simply insisting on the status quo strikes me as illogical. I would also state that your saying the movement to change the status quo is driven by “highly organized well-funded special interest group pressure from individuals owning property surrounding the EH Airport” is inaccurate and one of the myths generated by EHA users. A cursory glance at public noise complaint data shows complaints from everywhere in a thirty-mile radius of EHA (50,000 from 600 locations just in the summer of 2019 alone: including Southold, Riverhead, Greenport, Shelter Island, North Haven, Noyac, Bridgehampton, Sagaponack, East Hampton Village, Amagansett, Springs, Northwest Woods, Napeague and Montauk). What’s more, our organization is allied with Stop the Chop NJ/NY, which is dedicated to eliminating the thousands of helicopter and seaplane flights from NYC and Teeterboro NJ to EHA. These flights negatively impact a million or more citizens with noise, as well as all of us with carbon emissions.

There are two basic reasons that EHA if closed would not simply relocate to Montauk: 1) it’s a private airport with no facilities and short runways, and 2) it’s far away from the destinations or homes of the great majority of current EHA users, including pilots who live in Southampton Town. Even if permitted, they will not use Montauk when it is an hour or more away by car.

What we propose is working with Montauk United and the town board in common interest to both mitigate the awful problem EHA is for the region AND ensure that nothing like it occurs in Montauk. These are NOT competing interests, they reflect the desire of citizens everywhere to live in a quiet, safe, and healthy environment.

Barry Raebeck

Co-director of Say No to KHTO and sixty-four years resident of East Hampton

 

 

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