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  • Writer's pictureAndre Watson

East Hampton Airport’s controversial closure delayed after FAA talks

Wainscott facility undergoing transition to private use

By: TRD Staff

East Hampton Airport (iStock, East Hampton Alliance)

Winners of the great East Hampton Airport debate will have to wait a little longer to enjoy their victory.

East Hampton Town officials announced the temporary closure of the airport in Wainscott would be delayed and shortened after a meeting with the Federal Aviation Administration, Newsday reported. The temporary closure was initially set to begin on Feb. 28 and last four days.

Under the new agreement, the temporary closure of the airport will begin at 11:59 a.m. on May 17, according to Newsday, before it’s reopened at 9 a.m. two days later.

“The town continues to work cooperatively with the FAA to ensure that the new private-use airport opens with all safety and as many operational capabilities as possible,” said Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc. “The town appreciates the FAA’s dedication to addressing novel issues raised by the town’s unique situation in a timely and careful manner.”

The closure is part of the town’s effort to transition the airport from its public status to a private facility, allowing the local area to gain control of operations and noise. A public hearing regarding the framework for the facility is scheduled for next month.

Among the legal challenges against the town over the airport’s closure are three lawsuits served this week, one from air transportation platform Blade, Newsday reported.

The airport has been at the center of a longstanding fight due to noise from choppers and jets owned by the uber-wealthy. Last month, it was announced the airport would transition to private use, requiring pilots to get advanced permission before they could land. Noise from aircraft harms property values and quality of life, according to those affected by it. The terminal and runways, which were previously overseen by the FAA, reverted to town control in September. It was previously reported the goal was to have the prior-permission policy in place by the summer. [Newsday] — Holden Walter-Warner Contact Holden Walter-Warner

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