May 16, 2016

Summer is around the corner, and with the season comes increased traffic at many general aviation airports around the country. New York’s East Hampton Airport (HTO) is no different, with a majority of its operations occurring from May to October.

Operators using the Long Island airport generally respect the airport’s noise mitigation procedures and follow the airport’s voluntary noise abatement procedures. Despite these efforts, the town of East Hampton has severely restricted access to HTO, actions which are being fought by NBAA and other aviation entities.

The Eastern Region Helicopter Council (ERHC) recently decided to take the voluntary “fly neighborly” effort at East Hampton to the next level. Three additional “transition” routes have voluntarily been developed by the group to enhance the airport’s noise abatement procedures and help mitigate noise events on the North Fork of Long Island, according to ERHC’s Jeffery Smith.

Detailed descriptions of these suggested inbound and outbound helicopter routes at HTO were designed and analyzed by the ERHC, and are outside the boundaries of the East Hampton air traffic control and operations. View the transition routes. (PDF)

Smith said these new routes “will hopefully lessen the concentration of aircraft over the same communities.” The helicopter group will be receiving weekly compliance reports, and plans to study the impact of the transitions after the 2016 season.

“ERHC is to be commended for stepping up and developing these routes, which will help in mitigating any noise associated with helicopter operations at HTO,” said Dean Saucier, NBAA’s Northeast regional representative. “This is a great example of local operators voluntarily doing all they can to fly neighborly and to be as sensitive as possible to the noise concerns of the communities they serve.”

All operators at HTO are reminded of the airport’s mandatory nighttime curfew, which runs from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. There is also an extended curfew on so-called “noisy” aircraft from 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. View a list of affected aircraft on the airport’s website.

Fixed-wing operators are also encouraged, whenever possible, to utilize the procedures in NBAA’s recently revised Noise Abatement Program, which will also help the fly neighborly effort at East Hampton. View NBAA’s Noise Abatement program resources.