Supreme Court Declines To Hear Helicopter Dispute

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A dispute over noise caused by helicopters flying over the tony Hampton area outside New York City made it all the way to the Supreme Court, but this week, the judges said they won’t hear the case. The Town of East Hampton had petitioned the court last November, after a federal appeals court said the town had no right to restrict airport access by helicopters and other so-called “noisy” aircraft. By not hearing the case, the Supreme Court has let that ruling stand. East Hampton Supervisor Larry Cantwell told the local Shelter Island Reporter that opponents now will pursue a strategy to curb noise by working “through our elected representatives.”

Representatives from Shelter Island have secured passage of a bill at the New York State Legislature that will require any future long-term financial agreements between the East Hampton Town Board and the FAA to be subject to a community referendum. The legislators told the Reporter that the law has been sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing. Local residents also have formed a group, “Say No to KHTO,” that aims to pressure the town to close the East Hampton Airport. The group is dedicated to “exploring environmentally-friendly and far more equitable community use of 628 acres of Town-owned land whichcurrently accommodates KHTO,” according to their website.

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