Skip to main content

Year-to-Date Flight Numbers to Be Reviewed

Thu, 08/11/2022 - 12:19
According to Jim Brundige, the airport manager, there have been nearly 5,000 fewer “operations” — meaning takeoffs and landings — from January to July of this year, than the same time period in 2021.
Durell Godfrey

Informed that cumulative 2022 air traffic at East Hampton Airport was down by about 28 percent through July, members of the Wainscott Citizens Advisory Committee found themselves on Saturday asking, “Really?”

According to information provided to East Hampton Town and the committee by Jim Brundige, the airport manager, there have been nearly 5,000 fewer “operations” — meaning takeoffs and landings — from January to July of this year, than the same time period in 2021.

“It seems to me that as a layman, I’m hearing more.. . . It just doesn’t seem to add up,” said Barry Frankel, a longtime committee member who led the meeting in the absence of Carolyn Logan Gluck, its chairwoman.

East Hampton Town Councilwoman Sylvia Overby, the town board’s liaison to the committee, said on Tuesday that she had asked Mr. Brundige to review the numbers again and report back.

“These are probably pretty good numbers,” Ms. Overby said. “There might be some movement. We don’t count them; we have a company that counts them as they come in. But I know, to the Wainscott C.A.C., it’s going to feel as though there are more operations [flying] over them — because there are. There’s just not more operations, total, at the airport.”

She explained that the difference in 2022’s year-to-date numbers occurred mostly in the slower months of January and February. She noted also that “the routes have changed. [They] now are coming down the ocean access and cutting across over Georgica Pond.”

Of the 2022 numbers, 3,242 operations involved local pilots; 9,520 were from transient users. Of the types of aircraft flowing into and out of the airport so far this year, helicopters have accounted for approximately 31 percent, jets about 20 percent, and seaplanes about 9 percent.

The Wainscott C.A.C. was also told that the town has received many complaints about planes with advertising banners. Such planes are prohibited in Class Delta airspace, which covers East Hampton Village, Wainscott, and Sagaponack beaches, Mr. Frankel said, and the control tower will enforce that prohibition.

 In other airport-related news, the Federal Aviation Administration announced on July 29 that the North Shore helicopter route, which requires civilian pilots to follow a path along Long Island’s northern shoreline, has been renewed. It was to have expired on Aug. 5.

“The F.A.A. finds it necessary to extend the rule for four years,” through July 29, 2026, the agency said. The report acknowledges the current litigation over East Hampton Airport’s future, saying, “given that there is no available timeline for resolution of the East Hampton Town Airport’s operating status and subsequent adjustments operators may make, the F.A.A. expects a four-year extension to provide [it] with sufficient time for such issues to resolve to evaluate any new traffic redirection and consider that evaluation in assessing the current rule.”

The complex status of the town’s possible airport closure — and its supporters’ counterefforts to keep it open — is tied up in litigation in the New York State Supreme Court system, before Justice Paul J. Baisley. As of press time this week, the court’s online record-tracking system did not list the next date the parties are to meet.

Villages

East Hampton’s Mulford Farm in ‘Digital Tapestry’

Hugh King, the East Hampton Town historian, is more at ease sharing interesting tidbits from, say, the 1829 town trustees minutes than he is with augmented reality or the notion of a digital avatar. But despite himself, he came face to face with both earlier this week at the Mulford Farm, where the East Hampton Historical Society is putting his likeness to work to tell the story of the role the farm’s owner, Col. David Mulford, played in the leadup to the 1776 Battle of Long Island, and of his fate during the region’s subsequent occupation by the British.

May 16, 2024

Hampton Library Eyes Major Upgrade

The Hampton Library in Bridgehampton, last expanded 15 years ago, is kicking off a $1.5 million capital campaign this weekend with the aim of refurbishing the children’s room, expanding the young-adult room, doubling the size of its literacy space, and undertaking a range of technology enhancements and building improvements to meet the needs of a growing population of patrons.

May 16, 2024

Item of the Week: The Gardiner Manor by Alfred Waud, 1875

Alfred R. Waud sketched this depiction of the Gardiner’s Island manor house while on assignment for Harper’s Weekly.

May 16, 2024

Your support for The East Hampton Star helps us deliver the news, arts, and community information you need. Whether you are an online subscriber, get the paper in the mail, delivered to your door in Manhattan, or are just passing through, every reader counts. We value you for being part of The Star family.

Your subscription to The Star does more than get you great arts, news, sports, and outdoors stories. It makes everything we do possible.