Southold Town at odds with East Hampton over helicopters

Helicopter noise has emerged as one of Southold Town residents’ biggest concerns, right up there with speeding and deer, according to Supervisor Scott Russell.

At last week’s Town Board meeting, Quiet Skies Coalition member Kathleen Cunningham pitched her group’s mission and presented options to help mitigate the problem.

Quiet Skies is seeking support from East End municipalities to alleviate noise pollution generated by aircraft — specifically helicopters — at East Hampton Airport. The group is working to impose curfews and limit the number of flights and the airport’s hours of operation, but it faces challenges.

East Hampton Town forfeited its right to impose restrictions on helicopters several years ago when it accepted a Federal Aviation Administration grant.

Ms. Cunningham requested that Southold Town pass a memorializing resolution, asking East Hampton to refuse any future funding from FAA so a comprehensive noise abatement plan can be achieved.

Currently air traffic control directs helicopters over Mattituck Inlet on approach.

“East Hampton thinks of Southold as a welcome mat for ferries and aircraft,” Mr. Russell said. “The problem with that thinking is welcome mats are meant to be stepped on.”

Board members said they are considering the memorializing resolution.

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