East Hampton Town To Appeal Airport Suit

David Gruber of the newly-re-formed East Hampton Airport Noise Citizen's Advisory Committee watches private jets discharge their passengers from inside the terminal during a fact-finding trip to the airport on Friday, 9/2/16

East Hampton Town on Wednesday announced that it would ask the United States Supreme Court to hear its appeal of a federal Court of Appeals decision two weeks that threw out a pair of curfews the town had imposed at East Hampton Airport.

Pilots groups and other airport users sued the town last year when it adopted restrictions that included an overall curfew from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. for all aircraft and a stricter curfew, from 8 p.m. to 9 a.m., for aircraft that do not meet modern noise limits.

Although a federal judge last year upheld the town’s rights to impose the curfews while the suit was being contested, that opinion was reversed by the Court of Appeals, which ruled the town had to follow the procedures outlined by the Airport Noise and Capacity Act, which town officials say is a cumbersome and difficult process that would be unlikely to succeed. Town officials argued the Federal Aviation Administration in a letter to former Congressman Tim Bishop assured him the town would not to follow that law in imposing airport restrictions.

“We cannot let stand unchallenged a decision that completely federalizes our small community airport and strips the town of any meaningful local control,” said Supervisor Larry Cantwell in a release.