Gurney's Inn
April 26, 2006

FAA After All

Representatives from the Federal Aviation Authority will visit East Hampton Town Airport to assess the safety of Runway 4/22 after all. Earlier this month, based upon advice from town insurers, East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill McGintee closed the landing strip. It had been the focus of a TV advertisement financed by airport supporters urging viewers to lobby town officials to repair the runway, deeming it a public safety risk.

McGintee ordered the runway closed pending an assessment by experts. He first asked the FAA to come for a look-see and was told the federal agency doesn't deploy staff for such a small project. Next, McGintee considered hiring a private company with specific expertise in airports. But before that could move forward, he was informed last week that the FAA will indeed come out and examine the runway.

The pathway has been the subject of no small amount of controversy for years. Supporters of the airport see failure to immediately fix the runway as an indication of an overall philosophic bent towards eventual closure of the entire facility. Lawmakers counter that they want to complete a Master Plan for the airport before embarking on any improvements or repairs.

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