March 2015

    An Open Letter to the East Hampton Town Board

    We recognize the many difficulties the Town Board faces in deciding what
    to do about excessive noise generated by the East Hampton airport. At this
    critical juncture in time, we want to thank you. Thank you for your courage.
    Thank you for your respect for the law. Thank you for your willingness to listen.

    First, we thank you for your courage. It is a sad truth that East Hampton
    is becoming the poster child for inequality in our country. Through your
    proposed actions on noise, you have chosen to take on the combined power,
    resources, and might of the aviation industry and some of the wealthiest
    people in the world. The aviation industry and their patrons have threatened
    you with an unending series of costly lawsuits. They have accused you of
    recklessness and lack of due diligence. They have paid for and published
    bogus economic studies. They have flooded the media with false advertising.
    They have created obstacles in your search for facts. Through all of this, you
    have resisted pressure and continued to focus on the truth.

    Second, we thank you for your respect for the law. You have proceeded
    slowly and deliberately on the basis of fact. You have conducted your
    deliberations on the high plane of dignity and discipline. Corporations such
    as Heliflite Shares of New Jersey, Analar Corporation of New Jersey, the
    Helicopter Association International of Virginia, Liberty Helicopters of New
    Jersey, and other well-funded out-of-town aviation industry groups have already
    filed lawsuits to prevent change at the airport.  You have responded to these
    and other lawsuits without breaking stride, knowing that the law is on the side
    of those who own the airport (i.e., the citizens of East Hampton), not those
    who want to exploit the airport and the town for their own economic gain.

    Third, we thank you for your willingness to listen. You listened to those who
    purchased property near the airport with an understanding that the airport was
    primarily there for hobbyist pilots. You listened to those who said that the
    incessant din of helicopters and seaplanes had radically changed the nature
    of their neighborhoods and affected their quality of life. You listened to those
    who live in our historically black neighborhoods who said that the re-routing
    of helicopter traffic over their homes last summer was nothing less than racial
    discrimination and environmental injustice. You listened to those who are
    losing their retirement incomes because of loss of property values caused
    by aircraft noise. You listened to those fearing an airplane crash in an already
    overcrowded airspace. You listened to those who documented the environmental
    harm caused by noisy aircraft. You listened to those who observed that noisy
    seaplane operators are waiting to rush in and pounce on anything left over
    should noisy helicopters leave. You listened to those who have implored you not
    to pit one neighborhood against another and force them to debate who will have
    to suffer the most from noisy aircraft. You listened to those who asked you to
    reject the fraudulent claim that abusive aircraft noise is good for small business
    because it is the “sound of money.” You listened to those who said helicopter
    noise is not just unwanted sound, not just an annoyance; that helicopter noise
    can make normal speech impossible, that it can make concentration difficult,
    that it can interfere with important mental tasks such as learning, that it can lead
    to stress-related mental health illness, and that it can damage the environment. 
    You listened to those many residents who told you they can no longer experience
    a peaceful life or a quiet summer evening.

    Again, we thank you for your courage, your respect for the law, and your
    willingness to listen. You have our full support in your efforts to do the right and
    honorable thing. East Hampton will be forever in your debt.

    Carol and Vincent Covello

    The Quiet Skies Coalition (QSC) is comprised of citizen volunteers, based in
    East Hampton, NY, whose collective experience as residents neighboring the
    East Hampton airport compelled us to action, to reduce or eliminate the noise
    and air pollution this facility imposes on surrounding communities.

    Organized in August of 2011, QSC functions as an unincorporated association
    of like-minded individuals. Our leadership includes residents from the Towns of
    East Hampton and Southampton, the two municipalities which border the airport.
    Our 350 members hail from across the East End--on North and South forks,
    Shelter Island and, increasingly, from Long Island communities even farther afield.

    We are committed to regaining control of what was once a small, rural airport
    supporting local recreational pilots. The increased number of flights to
    East Hampton Airport, particularly those of helicopters, sea planes and jets,
    disrupts and disturbs the peaceful enjoyment of our homes, properties and
    recreational areas and damages our protected natural habitats.

    These conditions are intolerable and corrode the quality of life and commitment
    to the environmental preservation that defines the East End of Long Island, and
    particularly the Towns of East Hampton and Southampton.

Never doubt that a small group
of thoughtful, committed
citizens can change the world.  

Indeed, it's the only
thing that ever has.  

-Margaret Mead

QUIET SKIES COALITION     PO Box 956     Wainscott, NY   11975    
"Most of the offending aircraft are from non-local commercial operators
that economically exploit the Hampton destination, leaving a noise tax
in their wake, benefiting no one on the East End."
    3 ways to register Noise Complaints

If you don’t call, they will say “there is no noise,
we have no complaints”.