EAST HAMPTON - Residents who live near the East Hampton Airport are concerned that a plan to address a growing noise problem caused by increased air traffic may only make it worse.
Local residents are debating a new plan that could lead to the construction of a control tower for use during the peak summer months. Supporters say it's a safety issue.
"That seasonal control tower will provide FAA surveillance of activities around the airport for the first time in the airport's history," says East Hampton Town Councilman Dominick Stanzione.
East Hampton would have to relinquish some control of the town-owned airport in exchange for federal funds to help run it. Opponents of the plan fear that would make it more likely that the airport would expand.
Town officials say increased helicopter traffic, which is a major source of noise pollution, will be helped by a new route proposed by the federal government directing the aircraft to fly along the ocean before landing in East Hampton.