A set of noise and access restrictions at East Hampton (NY) Airport (HTO) has been at the center of legal controversy for almost two years.
According to General Aviation News, that controversy is closed. On Monday the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Court of New York issued a ruling that struck down the restrictions.
Federal District Court Judge Joanna Seybert signed a permanent injunction that invalidated the noise and access restrictions.
This was the culmination of a legal battle that began in 2015. In April of that year, Long Island passed multiple restrictions on noise at HTO. They included an 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew; an extended 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. curfew for “noisy” aircraft; and a summertime one-trip-per-week limit for all “noisy” aircraft.
Judge Seybert preliminarily upheld both curfew restrictions but preliminarily rejected the “one trip” restriction.
Her ruling was appealed by a coalition spearheaded by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), Eastern Region Helicopter Council (ERHC), and Friends of the East Hampton Airport. The coalition argued that the curfew restrictions violated the 1990 Airport Noise and Capacity Act.
In November 2016 the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York sided with the NBAA coalition. The U.S. District Court issued a new injunction that prohibited all three restrictions. East Hampton attempted to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the petition was rejected earlier this year.
NBAA CEO/President Ed Bolen applauded the verdict. “We are gratified that the judicial system upheld our position that the restrictions at East Hampton violated federal law,” he said.
He later added, “NBAA will remain vigilant regarding attempts to restrict access to the nation’s public-use airports and oppose any efforts to limit the utility of airports like HTO, which would cripple the overall viability of the National Airspace System.”