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Group Looks To Stem Growth Of Montauk Airport

Urging East Hampton Town Government To Buy The Field

The NIMBYs are at it again on New York's Long Island.

A group which calls itself the "Airport Noise Citizens Advisory Committee" has written a letter to East Hampton Town recommending that they buy Montauk Airport (KMPT) in an effort to prevent, or at least slow, traffic growth in the future.

The website reports that the chairman of the group, David Gruber, is a vocal critic of the scale of operations at East Hampton Airport (KHTO), and he said in the letter that if the town does not buy Montauk Airport, the owners could apply for AIP grants to expand and improve the airport, bringing more helicopter and jet traffic to the far eastern portion of the area.

Gruber says the town is currently a "bystander ... and it seems to us that before anything turns worse we would want to get control of how it's handled in the future." Gruber wants the same controls over Montauk Airport as the town imposes on East Hampton Airport.

The town is waiting for a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on curfews put in place in 2015, but a finding in favor of the restrictions is unlikely at best.

Gruber says the town could buy the airport using money from Community Preservation Fund under the premise that the airport is a "recreational facility".

East Hampton Supervisor Larry Cantwell told that the town was very unlikely to want to own a second and he does not think that using CPF money is a viable option if the airport is to be maintained as and airport. He said that if that fund were to be used, the airport would have to ultimately be closed, and that there would be little return on the investment after the town borrowed millions of dollars to make the purchase.



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