Saturday, July 28, 2012

East Hampton residents say new airport control tower has worsened noise problem - East Hampton Airport (KHTO), New York

Hamptons, we have a problem.

A new, taxpayer-funded air-traffic control tower at East Hampton Airport — which was supposed to cut down on the deafening roar from hovering helicopters — is actually increasing the noise level, residents charge.

“The town presented this whole expensive project as a way to help with the noise, but it’s only getting worse,” nearby resident Frank Dalene said about the tower, which began operating in June.

The old system allowed all of the hovering pilots to get on the same radio frequency and land on a first-come, first-served basis.

But with the new system — run by retired FAA air-traffic controllers on contract with the town government — choppers are hovering more because they have to obey safety rules.
“It’s just bureaucracy,” said a pilot. “There are more delays in the air, so that’s going to affect noise for people in the area.”

Local residents are furious with the $500,000-per-year tower, saying it’s destroying their prized serenity.

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