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Thiele boosts FAA action on helicopters

New York State has given East Hampton a voice in future FAA grants on its airport use.

Assemblyman Fred Thiele, Jr. (I- Sag Harbor) said he’s  pleased that the recently signed FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 includes a requirement that the Federal Aviation Administration reassess helicopter flight routes over eastern Long Island.

The bill, approved by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump, follows years of frustration by residents impacted by incessant noise pollution from helicopters flying to and from the East Hampton airport.

Congressman Lee Zeldin proposed the reconsideration, which includes requiring the FAA to address the noise impact on local communities.

“After years of ignoring public pleas for help to abate helicopter noise, the FAA will finally examine the flight paths over the East End,” Mr. Thiele said.

“The current route is beset with loopholes that permit transits over land and populated areas many miles from the East Hampton airport at low altitudes. It has resulted in detrimental impacts to the quality of life across eastern Long Island,” he said. The area’s quiet and natural beauty need to be preserved, he said.

“The best way to do that is changing the flight pattern to an all-water route.”

In addition to calling for a review of alternative routes, including an all-water route over the Atlantic Ocean, Congressman Zeldin’s legislative proposal requires the FAA to improve altitude enforcement and to hold a public hearing and public comment period.

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