East Hampton Airport Opponents Reappoint Themselves To Disbanded Committee

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Members of a former town committee that looked at ways to tamp down noise impacts at East Hampton Airport have announced that they will reconstitute the disbanded committee as a public citizens group and will start holding regular meetings to discuss potential strategies for controlling noise at the airport.

The first meeting of the new group will be on Monday, July 25, at 9:30 a.m. at the LTV studios in Wainscott. All members of the public are invited to attend and speak, according to a press release from the group this week.

The original Airport Planning Committee and a subcommittee focusing just on noise issues was appointed by the Town Board in January 2014 when the Cantwell administration took over in Town Hall and set about exploring new management of the airport to reduce noise impacts.

After the board adopted its battery of curfews and flight restrictions in the spring of 2015, the committee was disbanded. Its members, however, said this week that breaking up the committee was premature and were seemingly disdainful of the Town Board’s ability to manage the airport—a job committee member David Gruber said in a statement that the committee’s members were particularly well suited for.

“The Town simply lacks the professional resources to manage anything as complex as the airport competently,” Mr. Gruber, a major Democratic donor who opponents of airport restrictions have said was pulling the strings when the Town Board launched its airport initiatives, said in the statement he emailed to the Press on Tuesday. “It tries to fill the gap by retaining outside consultants, but even outside consultants require professional supervision, and the Town does not have the capacity. The citizen advocates who have worked for years on these issues have the necessary knowledge and experience.”

Mr. Gruber will serve as the chairman of the committee at the outset.

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