Air Traffic Control

We have our doubts

   East Hampton Town’s big experiment with an airport control tower began this week as the operators flipped the switches on their communication equipment and radar for the first time. Though the tower is billed as a way to control the routes by which aircraft enter and leave a 4.8-mile radius around the Wainscott runways, and thereby limit noise annoyances for residents, we have our doubts. Bets are that it will not make the noise problem any less, though it may move it around a little bit.
    Helicopters, which prompt many of the complaints to the town’s hotline, are just plain loud, wherever they fly. Jets’ takeoffs and landings are going to rattle windows and nerves no matter what. And, seasonally staffed tower or none, the only way to reduce the aggravation of many residents is to limit the hours that certain kinds of aircraft can use the facility.
    Such restrictions are anathema, of course, to those who make money from transporting high-paying passengers or provide refueling, cleaning, or other services for private jets. Some owners of small aircraft based at East Hampton Airport have been swept up in the opinion vortex, paradoxically siding with the for-profit operators, putting them to some degree at odds with their own best interests as their once-quaint home field becomes ever more commercial.
    By improving safety, the tower, which is being paid for with money from the town budget, may have the unintended consequence of actually increasing use of the airport at night and in bad weather. No one yet knows for sure. This is indeed an experiment worth watching closely.
 


Comments

A few clarifications are in order. I doubt that there is radar at the East Hampton tower-too small for that. And how will a tower increase the number of planes at night? A tower will help with safety by aiding in the separation of arriving and departing flights. Limiting hours will get you into deep trouble with the FAA. They gave a lot of money for the expansion of many safety related projects at East Hampton and will not allow unreasonable limitations.Simply out-don't move near an airport and expect total silence at all times.
No wonder you posted as "anonymous," you don't want to embarrass yourself or expose yourself as someone who is profiting from the airport expansion. Your worn out rebuttal to maintaing control of the noise at the airport shows your ignorance. We moved a few miles from the airport in 1997. There were no jets, helicopters or seaplanes. The fights that entered and left the airport did not create deafening noise. Today we have a totally different story. Large jets and seaplane disrupt our community for the benefit of a few wealthy individuals who are above driving in their limos on the roads with the rest of us. If you paid attention to what is happening, you would know that it is not just residents in the immediate area around the airport who are suffering. Hundreds of people along the route to the airport are affected by air traffic noise. The expansion of the airport happened surreptitiously. The noise has gradually increased over the years. The noise must be controlled to protect the quality of life of the residents of East Hampton. It seems very clear that the town must reject FAA funds and reestablish local control of the airport. Mary McDonald