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Its Silly Friends – Letter to the Editor, East Hampton Star, February 9, 2015

Dear David,

I wish to congratulate the supervisor and the East Hampton Town Board for announcing restrictions proposed at East Hampton Airport that should, once enacted, bring meaningful reduction of noisy aircraft, effectively reducing noise in and around the airport. I especially wish to thank Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez for her leadership, skillfulness in bringing people together to collaborate, and her knowledge and grasp of the complicated issues surrounding these proposals.

In the past I stated noise abatement measures are failed policies. The two airports that substantiate this claim are Santa Monica Airport and Naples Airport. At East Hampton Airport we saw voluntary noise abatement measures utterly fail. The only way to reduce noise is by simply reducing noisy aircraft, as the town now proposes. Since it has the ability to do so after the grant assurances expired on Jan. 1, the town can implement restrictions. I am completely confident the restrictions once finally adopted will be a vast improvement over the wild and crazy operations of dirty, noisy helicopters and other noisy aircraft types.

I am now concerned about the “Friends of East Hampton Airport.” Who are these friends? What type of friends are they?

When the Friends first organized, their address was the same address in New Jersey as Jeff Smith and Eastern Region Helicopter Council. After several media reports and legal filings, it appears Friends are a coalition made up of Sound Aircraft, the fixed base operator at East Hampton Airport; Analar Corporation of New Jersey, Helicopter Association International of Virginia, Heliflite Shares of New Jersey, Liberty Helicopters of New Jersey, Shoreline Aviation of Connecticut, and the Eastern Region Helicopter Council. These are the Friends of East Hampton Airport!

Its silly Friends are the very folks who caused the noise problems at and around the airport in the first place. It’s silly Friends “tortured” and “tormented” (the words of Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman Tim Bishop) the folks all over Long Island. It’s silly Friends divided our entire East End community into two bitterly opposing sides over the noise caused by operations at the airport.

It’s silly Friends don’t vote in East Hampton, nor in the surrounding communities. It’s silly Friends don’t participate in our community. It’s silly Friends don’t give back to our community. It’s silly Friends only bring noisy, dirty helicopters to wreak havoc on our community. It’s silly Friends are suing our town and suing the F.A.A. It’s silly Friends will most likely cost the town millions of dollars in legal fees that otherwise should be spent improving the airport.

It’s silly Friends are filing complaints simply because our community wants the peace and quiet we once had. It’s silly Friends want to stop the folks on the East End to return to the peaceful enjoyment of their own property. It’s silly Friends don’t care about the quality of life of the folks on the East End.

When I really think about it, it’s silly Friends are just carpetbaggers from New Jersey whose only interest is to fly folks on their magic flying carpets. It’s silly these folks are willing to give Friends over $500 to fly their magic carpets just so they arrive in 30 minutes, damn the folks on the ground. If it wasn’t so silly it would be crazy.

With friends like that, East Hampton Airport doesn’t need enemies.

FRANK DALENE

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