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Town may establish term lengths for helicopter committee

In 2014, in response to growing frustration with helicopters passing over the North Fork, Southold Town established its Helicopter Noise Steering Committee.

Coming up on five years later, helicopter noise has only gotten worse as the Federal Aviation Administration has been slow to change the North Shore Route.

“It’s going to become more of a permanent committee than we thought,” said Councilman Bob Ghosio at a work session Tuesday, suggesting the board set terms for members on the committee.

Mr. Ghosio serves as the Town Board liaison to the committee.

He said that some members appointed in 2014 now want to leave, and others in the community are energized to get involved. The proposed term length is two years for two members and four years for three members, which will allow for rotating membership.

The terms would begin in March, when the Town Board typically appoints people to its committees.

“It’s a good idea,” said Councilman Bill Ruland. “This is a discussion that, based on the landscape, is probably going to go on.”

Mr. Ghosio said that while the issue has worsened in some ways, the committee has allowed the town to try new initiatives to fight the use of the North Shore Route, including a regional partnership with other affected towns.

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