The request to the Greenport Village Board by Walter Gezari, owner of STIDD Systems, to use a helicopter to make his business more efficient is not much different than many other American companies that use general aviation.
According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the speed and efficiency of business flying is one of the key reasons that American companies are such strong competitors in the global economy, making business aviation one of the most important segments of general aviation.
The general aviation fleet of 224,000 aircraft and America’s nearly 20,000 public and private airports and heliports allow key employees to be in the right place at the right time to meet the vital needs of customers.
Most businesses that use general aviation are located in the industrial areas of municipal airports. STIDD Systems has invested the last 25 years in the Village of Greenport. The village being on an island further isolates STIDD from its clients and manufacturers. His request for three flights per week should be taken very seriously by the Village Board for him to make his business more efficient and competitive.
Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach has just opened an industrial park on the field. These new buildings have loading docks and ample parking. This would be a perfect place for STIDD to relocate should the village fail to approve the flights.
The Village Board should consider the effect of the flights on the entire village. As chairman of the Gabreski Airport Noise Abatement committee, we found that if aircraft flew specific approach and departure flight paths, 95 percent of the noise effecting the adjacent community was eliminated. The Village Board needs to evaluate flight paths and make any approval subject to following those paths.
As for changing the character of the village, individuals opposed to these flights should look at these three flights per week against numerous loud, high-powered boats and thousands of people on Claudio’s dock on the weekend. Allowing these minimal flights keeps an employer of 50 people in the village.