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Three lawsuits aim to block the closure of East Hampton Airport on Long Island

East Hampton Airport
Frank Eltman
East Hampton Airport

The Town of East Hampton faces three lawsuits following its plans to shut down its public airport on Monday, Feb. 28, to reopen it four days later as a private facility.

The lawsuits came from companies that lease space at the airport: an air transportation company Blade, East End Hangars and Hampton Hangars, and a group of residents who warn of overcrowding at Montauk Airport.

The proceedings urged the town to reconsider the closure to avoid unforeseen circumstances that prolong the closure that is only projected to be for four days.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the timeline for the plan for reopening would take close to two years. If procedure changes are required, the FAA told the town this month that the airport may have to operate as a visual flight rules-only facility this summer — meaning no instrumentation for pilots, and flying in clear skies only.

The lawsuits also claim the town’s reopening of the airport would violate the state’s environmental review process.

Despite the backlash, the town still intends to carry out its plans, which they hope will also quiet down the neighborhood after years of noise complaints.

Samantha is a former news intern with WSHU Public Radio.