East Hampton Airport Transition Set For May 19: VFR To Start


It would appear cooler heads are now negotiating the transition of East Hampton’s airport from a public to private prior permission required facility and the date has been pushed back a few months. The resort town’s board of supervisors have now set May 19 to go private and say the airport won’t have instrument procedures until later in the summer. “This timeline has been discussed at length with the FAA and the FAA has indicated that it does not foresee any obstacles with the new, private-use airport opening on May 19,” Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said in the statement. As we reported last week, a defiant Van Scoyoc vowed to continue with the plan to shutter the airport for four days at the end of February and reopen it under the city’s control.

The controversy erupted after the FAA reminded the board of all the federally funded equipment and services that would depart with its closure. It also said an airspace study might be required before any procedures could be restored. The agency has also softened its approach and “is committed to working collaboratively to complete this.” It told the supervisors it would have all its paperwork done by May 19, which is about when the summer party season in the posh resort community begins in earnest. The airport has long been a source of noise complaints but traffic, particularly helicopters, has increased in recent years. The local government takeover of the facility is an attempt to address those issues.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. Does “federally funded equipment and services” include asphalt? Screw the instrument approaches, who paid for building the runway and maintaining it for decades? Many airports in growing areas are having to deal with increasing noise complaints. Why are these rich Karens allowed to take over a US taxpayer-funded resource for their personal use?

    • I think you are correct, the Hamptons are in essence, stealing an airport. If they want it, they should bear the cost, the entire “fair market value” of the airport. Do they get to control the airspace too? To what altitude?

  2. Can someone please explain to me, if locals can close a federal facility like this, why can’t a group of irate neighbors who live next to an interstate get together and close it because they don’t like the noise/dirt/traffic? It’s government infrastructure too. Will East Hampton township close Route 27 to all but locals next? If this can be done to airports, why not roads? The FEDERAL government should be stepping in on these airports and TAKE the land from the townships for PUBLIC DOMAIN when they try to undo the HARD WORK of our ancestors. It’s public infrastructure, built for the free use of ALL PEOPLE!

    • I think it’s only fair for the federal government to step in when federal government money (i.e. the peoples’ money) was used to build the airport as public infrastructure in the first place.

      • That is how the federal government tries to take control of towns, counties, cities and states. They take (or print) money from everyone then dole it out as they see fit. Trying to get control of everything.

    • It’s what they do.

      That said, East Hampton, over the decades, has accepted MILLIONS of Federal dollars to support the airport. When East Hampton ACCEPTED those Federal dollars, they KNEW that said money had strings (conditions) attached. If East Hampton want to change the rules, it has to do so in a LAWFUL manner (that they agreed to when they accepted all those MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars).

      Bottom line: Don’t cry East Hampton. You have LEGAL obligations you’re responsible to comply with. Hell, if I were still living on Long Island, I’d make as many VFR flights at 1000′ AGL over East Hampton that I could. Not a blessed thing East Hampton could do about it.

  3. Just view it from the standpoint of environmental credits. The Hamptons does not allow offshore wind turbines and balances it by reducing traffic at their airport.

  4. If it’s really helicopters that they plan to discriminate against, how do they actually do that? Set hour limits? Decibels? Number of operations per day?

  5. The town wants to get rid of helicopters but they’re the ones that are flying Vfr all the time.
    The number of flights that are going to come in to East Hampton under suboptimal weather conditions are few and far between compared to VFR operations. Who wants to go out there when the weather is bad anyway? The only thing that will make a difference is that the town will never sell any fuel which will make it difficult to a certain extent but KFOK will prosper.