Featured Letter: Only nine minutes to fly around Orient Point

To the editor: 

We’ve heard that flying around Orient Point and across Gardiners Bay would add 60 miles to a commuter helicopter trip. In our Hagstrom map, it appears the distances from the East River to Mattituck Inlet to East Hampton Airport amounts to about 90 miles. From East River to Mattituck Inlet to Orient Point to East Hampton Airport, it’s approximately 111 miles. 

Doing the math, we found 111 miles minus 90 miles is 21 miles added to the current trip, not 60 miles. The current trip total is about 90 miles, or 40 minutes, at 135 mph. Flying around Orient Point would be about 111 miles or 49 minutes at 135 mph. An additional nine minutes — not such a terrible inconvenience. As for the “flying over land is safer” opinion, the helicopters fly one mile offshore for 73 miles now. Why not another 21 miles? It’s better to come down on a beach than a school, shopping center or playground. We strongly believe the Orient Point route will have to be mandated; voluntary compliance won’t work. We are sure that some of the pilots do try to minimize noise pollution, but as with any group, there are always those who just don’t care about the effect on peoples’ lives or property values.

Bob and Diane Gazza, Southold