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Airport Brouhaha

To the Editor:

I will start my letter with an apology to the taxpayers of East Hampton. After years of swearing I would not "bother" the poor people of East Hampton any more, about the airport, I'm compelled to answer Mr. French's rambling defense of the closing of runway 4/22.

First of all, "Arthur," why is it in all of your letters to "both" papers, you always manage to forget to mention that you live off the departure end of the most vital runway at the airport (4/22)? The airport has been there since 1936. I ask you, Arty, how many years do you live there? And did it come as a surprise to you when you moved there, that an airport was just around the corner! Also Art, maybe you would care to disclose to the taxpayers just how many parcels of property that you have sold in the area, and DID YOU tell those buyers about the existence of the airport when you sold it to them, or were they sold in the "dead of winter" when the airport is basically silent!

Now as to the reasoning that is always applied for the closure of (4/22)! The purpose for calling for the closure of (4/22) was because a "new" plan was proposed to create a newer, longer runway that would have basically have been from Daniel's Hole Road (where the hangars now sit almost to the railroad tracks). If you will notice, Arty, ole boy, that would have been in a southwest direction and would have made (4/22) no longer necessary!

Anyone who has any knowledge of aviation history on Long Island is very, very aware that every airport on Long Island (both past and present) has had, or has, a southwest runway. The "prevailing winds'"on Long Island are from the southwest, as anyone who has been to a north shore beach in the summer soon learns (they are always hotter)!

Now perhaps I should address the acceptance of federal grant monies for the airport. Mr. French, since you seem to feel that the taxpayers of East Hampton should refuse all that free money, perhaps you might be willing to pay your neighbors taxes, so that YOU can continue to maintain your quest to increase your property values, which is what you, and your real estate interested friends are all about!

One final point about all this airport smoke screen brouhaha: the false statements in the past about airport expansion are just that. The airport in 1936 was over 700 acres total! It is now down to 400 acres and shrinking. The so-called affordable workspace was the reason used to "steal" the taxpayer owned real estate at the airport! This has been done in very quiet back room deals and at lease rates that would create another "Boston Tea Party" revolution, should the poor taxpayers of East Hampton get wind of it.

Now as to the free lunch part of Arty's letter, the feds did nothing about the part of the grant agreements (the fair market value part of those real estate back room deals) when it was brought to their attention. So where are these mysterious strings that are attached to this acceptance of F.A.A. money? Also those agreements call for the town to maintain the facility. Does everyone know that all the monies that come in from airport revenue go into a general fund, and if the monies were used to maintain runway 4/22, then we would not need to ask for F.A.A. money!

Arty, ole boy, I'm sorry but all I can see here is just one more excuse to lay down a smoke screen for "Real estate property values"! Oh and by the way, the pilots do run a taxi service for free, did you ever hear of "angel flight"? Ask any one who needed that service about it! And just one final point, Arty, I told you to your face one day that you shouldn't tell me how to fly a plane, even the F.A.A. will not get involved in my choice of the runway that I choose to use in a severe cross wind landing situation. So you, a non-pilot, have no business telling licensed, experienced PILOTS, how to fly, or what runways to use.

It sure seems there is much going on here, and it's all about politics and people stuffing money in their pockets. Unfortunately the sad part of this is that it has, and is, costing the taxpayers of East Hampton millions of dollars, and it has nothing to do with safety or noise.

April 25, 2006

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