July 23, 2015

In the continuing battle to preserve access to East Hampton Airport (HTO) on New York’s Long Island, NBAA has filed a response in further support of its pending complaint with the FAA.

Earlier this month, the town of East Hampton submitted a motion to dismiss the claim filed earlier this year by NBAA and 11 of its Members, which argues that the restrictions adopted by the town violate obligations assumed by the town when it accepted federal aviation grants.

“NBAA has filed an additional response citing FAA precedents, which establish that the town’s conduct is impermissible and requires FAA action,” said Steve Brown, NBAA chief operating officer. In his July 20 letter to the FAA, Brown presents legal arguments and regulatory evidence, which demonstrate that NBAA’s complaint meets the requirements for Part 16 review and relief, and requests that the town’s motion to dismiss should be denied.

Read Brown’s July 20 letter to the FAA. (PDF)

In April, East Hampton adopted restrictions on operations at the airport, which include an 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew, an extended 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. curfew for “noisy” aircraft and a one-trip-per-week limit on “noisy” aircraft.

NBAA and other stakeholders have challenged these restrictions by several means, and last month a federal judge issued an order to prevent the trip limit from entering into effect. Nevertheless, the curfews are now being enforced.

The NBAA Part 16 complaint challenges the restrictions, arguing that the extended curfew and trip limit violate access obligations assumed by the town when it accepted federal aviation grants. The town said that the FAA waived enforcement of some of those grant assurances as part of a 2005 legal settlement agreement, but NBAA argued to the FAA that the assurances which undisputedly remain in effect – and will continue through 2021 – prohibit the town’s restrictions, and further prohibit the town from drawing upon airport revenues to defend them.

Read about NBAA’s May filing with the FAA about the restrictions.