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Islanders’ complaining about chopper noise

REPORTER FILE PHOTO| Shelter Island placed  second  among East End communities in June complaining about their homes being buzzed by choppers.

REPORTER FILE PHOTO| Shelter Island placed second among East End communities in June complaining about their homes being buzzed by choppers.

There were 356 official complaints registered about helicopter noise from Shelter Island in the month of June.

That’s according to Peter Boody, noise abatement officer at East Hampton airport, whose office fields the complaints.

The 356 number puts the Island in second place among East End communities complaining about their homes being buzzed by choppers in June; Noyac residents went on the record 548 times to voice protests.

“Complaints have gone up from Shelter Island,” said Mr. Boody, a former editor of the Reporter.

The airport tracks routes of helicopters, which are supposed to fly over the water between Northaven and Mashomack and over the water off South Ferry.

But that’s not necessarily the route chopper pilots are taking as they fly through the weekends carrying passengers to and from New York City and Westchester County to the Hamptons.

“It’s a pretty regular habit for some [pilots] to veer off course before they get to the South Ferry channel,” Mr. Boody said.

Some pilots go northwest and fly over Montclair Colony and Silver Beach and other communities along Menantic Creek and West Neck, Mr. Boody said.

“We noticed about two weeks ago that complaints from Shelter Island were taking off,” Mr. Boody said.

For the weekend of June 20 to June 23, there were seven “distinct households,” or residents who had never complained before, added to the mix, and two more distinct households weighed in last weekend.

All told for June, there were 13 new households who lodged grievances that the choppers were too close for comfort.

“That’s significant because when some new household is motivated to get on the phone and call the complaint line, it tends to mean something,” Mr. Boody said.

But it’s difficult to discern any overall pattern, Mr. Boody noted.

“It is quite difficult to see any real patterns or trends,” he said. While the numbers are trending up week to week, Mr. Boody doesn’t believe it’s an historical high or even close to it.

To register a complaint with the East Hampton Airport, phone 1-800-376-4817, or visit planenoise.com/khto/.

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