Since the publication of the above-entitled article on April 28, 2022, events have occurred that raised further questions about the immediacy of the closure of East Hampton Municipal Airport on the South Shore of Long Island, New York, owned and operated by the Town of East Hampton.
Specifically, the most recent related cases are Friends of East Hampton Airport, Inc., et al. v. Town of East Hampton, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York Case No. 2:15-cv-02246, and National Business Aviation Association, Inc. v. Town of East Hampton, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York Case No. 2:22-cv-02824, challenging the Town’s plans to expedite the closure, by closing the airport on the night of Tuesday, May 17, and reopening it on the morning of Thursday, May 19, as a private use airport. That plan was halted by the grant of a temporary restraining order by U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert in 2017, and confirmed on May 17, 2022 by State Supreme Court Justice Paul Baisley. That motion for temporary restraining order was brought on the ground, among others, that the closure would violate the Airport Noise and Capacity Act, 49 U.S.C. § 47521, et seq., by providing no opportunity for enforcement of that statute after the closure. Finally, an emergency administration action, under 14 C.F.R. Part 16 was brought at the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA Docket No. 16-22-05 Notice, on largely the same ground. The Notice appears to have been accompanied by FAA’s statement that the FAA “has not reviewed or approved of [the Town’s] proposed prior permission required restrictions at the airport, if such approval is required. The FAA strongly recommends that [the Town] suspend implementation of its prior permission required restrictions framework until this matter has been considered resolved.” [Emphasis in original].
In short, the prospective closure, both short and long term, faces numerous hurdles which it will take some time to resolve. Stay tuned for the outcome from both the court and the agency.