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East Hampton Airport's controversial makeover is delayed after court ruling

Photo by Joël Super

On Monday, a New York State Supreme Court judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking the Town of East Hampton from temporarily closing its airport on Tuesday. East Hampton Airport was expected to reopen as a private facility on Thursday.

The airport in Wainscott was planned to transition from public to private-only use to address years of complaints from residents about traffic, noise and pollution.

Starting this Thursday, the facility would have operated under a “prior permission required” framework, meaning pilots would have to submit an application to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Some local pilots created an outburst during an informational session with the FAA on Friday. They claimed the new criteria to use the airport is confusing, and far too expensive.

The National Business Aviation Association sued the Town of East Hampton over its plan to operate the airport, claiming it undermines federal policy, and if all local airports operated this way, the national flight system would become dysfunctional.

A study will be completed by the town this summer to make sure their goals are being met. If not, the airport could close entirely.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.