The worst fears many have had about the future at East Hampton airport have quadrupled. Imagine four times the current air traffic operating out of that airport. It is unimaginable, but it is possible.
The new chief of air traffic control at KHTO revealed to the airport manager that, based on traffic on the busiest day in 2018, the control tower could handle four times that number of flights, that would be two arriving and two departing flights over the course of just one minute. That is a contradiction of information the former chief of air traffic control said publicly last year, that the current mix of rotor and fixed wing traffic funneled into narrow air corridors is dangerous.
Of course, a few tweaks would be needed at KHTO, like a terminal dedicated only to helicopters, paving a larger area around terminals, relocating or raising the height of the air traffic control tower, enlarging automobile parking and carving out and paving over a far greater area for jets to park overnight! All of these demands have been floated by airport proponents during public airport management advisory committee meetings; such suggestions are never called expansion or capacity building but removing current constraints on the ground is exactly what that means.
The airport serves primarily transient air traffic, at the expense of the well-being of residents and our economic engine, our precious but threatened environment. People, not profit for out- of state air commuter operators and their environmentally ignorant or callously selfish (or both) passengers must take precedence. Close KHTO in 2021.
Not Us vs. Them
First I would like to thank everyone who came out to vote.
During my recent campaign for village trustee, I became much more aware that this is a small town whose residents, and those of neighboring communities, share a common goal: namely to not mess up a good thing.
I don’t think that things like how long you have lived here, or if you are or are not in the fire department, etc., should come into play in what I perceive to be the overarching aim of keeping this a great place, while dealing with the realities of natural growth and inevitable change.
I hope to reach out to one and all in an effort to identify and strengthen what we have in common, rather than focus on perceived differences.
Simply put, it’s not us vs. them, but rather as a village and its surrounding communities realizing the common good.
Ghosts of Artificial Wetlands
It’s too early for Halloween but the ghosts of the 1990s “make believe wetlands” are back again to haunt us. That plan cooked up by Cashin Engineering (cash in, garbage out) went from $9,000 to $315,000 from 1994 to 1999 and was defeated by scientific evidence, not “neighbors fearful of the unknown” as Kevin McAllister stated, in your June 13 issue. He has his failed projects mixed up when he dates the Cashin to 2007, it was defeated in 1999 when the voters voted against it and changed mayors from Pierce Hance to Bill Young.
I’ll refer you to Larry Penny, then natural resources director for the Town of East Hampton: he quoted an international expert who had done dozens of wetlands experiments around the world. He advised us this type of topography was not viable for reclaiming. Science, not “fear of the unknown,” defeated that plan.
Mr. McAllister also backed the Richard Warren dreen plan, March 8, 2011, that flooded many basements on Bay and Hempstead streets. As I licensed plumber I should have thanked him for all the work he made for me. The “meandering stream” he mentions as part of re- claiming the wetland is not on the east side where the proposed plan is. As 100-year-old photos show, that stream was on the west side, meandering in a north-westerly direction through “Tighe’s Beach” to the north-west corner from the current entrance.
There’s a new stand of phragmites there now, part of the failed dumping of dredge spoils, leaving shards of glass and metal as big as your fist. The mayor ignored concerned citizens for a year-and-a-half and then told us to “talk to Suffolk County,” even though she signed a resolution dated October 24, 2017, that states the Village “agrees that it shall protect, indemnify, and hold harmless the County of Suffolk.”
They still haven’t cleaned up the beach, perhaps the exorcism of June 18th will work its mayoral magic with that.
All the best,