06/16/15 6:00am
06/16/2015 6:00 AM

In 2012, the Federal Aviation Administration pledged to not take negative action against East Hampton Town with regard to the enactment of noise restrictions at its airport.

Now, three years later, Congressman Lee Zeldin has taken steps to assure the agency keeps its word.

A funding bill passed June 9 by the House of Representatives includes an amendment written by Mr. Zeldin (R-Shirley) to ensure that the FAA does not use any new funds to take action against East Hampton Town following its recent efforts to restrict helicopter access.

(more…)

03/09/15 5:00am
03/09/2015 5:00 AM
Congressman Lee Zeldin speaks to reporters and concerned members of the public at a press conference on helicopter noise at Southold Town Hall Sunday. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Congressman Lee Zeldin speaks to reporters and concerned members of the public at a press conference on helicopter noise at Southold Town Hall Sunday. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Congressman Lee Zeldin asked the Federal Aviation Administration to do its part in reducing helicopter noise on the East End before the busy summer season in a letter he sent last week.  (more…)

01/06/15 8:05am
01/06/2015 8:05 AM
A helicopter at East Hampton Airport last year. (Credit: Kyril Bromley/The East Hampton Press)

A helicopter at East Hampton Airport last year. (Credit: Kyril Bromley/The East Hampton Press)

The East Hampton Town Board did nothing, and action was taken.

What seems like a contradiction actually means that East Hampton has regained control of its airport and can finally address the issue of helicopters buzzing East End communities.

This power was gained by not applying for grants from the Federal Aviation Administration in the new year. (more…)

08/16/14 12:33pm
08/16/2014 12:33 PM
The plane in the July 30 skydiving accident being taxied back to its hangar. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson, file)

The plane in the July 30 skydiving accident in Calverton being taxied back to its hangar. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson, file)

Skydive Long Island issued a statement Saturday disputing the report that the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating whether the parachute was properly packed in the fatal tandem skydiving accident July 30 that killed one man and critically injured the instructor. (more…)

03/15/13 10:39am
03/15/2013 10:39 AM
Calverton

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The FAA toured property off Route 25 in Calverton Thursday for a potential new air traffic control complex.

The Federal Aviation Administration toured a 50-acre section of the Enterprise Park at Calverton Thursday afternoon to consider whether it could become a site of a Next-Gen Integrated Air Traffic Control Complex, which would consolidate the function of two existing FAA regional facilities on Long Island and would employ more than 800 people.

Town officials were pretty much tight-lipped about the meeting, however.

“It’s obvious there was a meeting and it was a good meeting, and that’s about all I can say,” Supervisor Sean Walter said.

Councilwoman Jodi Giglio initiated the move on the Town Board to try to lure the FAA to EPCAL, a former Grumman Corporation F-14 testing facility. Then, in February, Ms. Giglio issued a press statement announcing that the FAA had agreed to a site visit at EPCAL, though Mr. Dunleavy said the FAA wants to keep things quiet as they tour sites.

“The FAA said they don’t want any publicity on this,” Councilman John Dunleavy said Thursday.

Reached Friday, Ms. Giglio said only, “It was a productive meeting. I really think they see the gem that EPCAL is.”

The proposed Next-Gen Integrated Air Traffic Control Complex would consolidate the functions of the FAA’s Air Route Traffic Control Center at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Islip Town and the Terminal Radar Approach Control facility in Westbury, according to federal officials.

The Next-Gen facility would track planes by incorporating state-of-the-art satellite air traffic equipment, replacing older, radar-based equipment now used at the Islip and Westbury facilities, officials have said.

The FAA issued a request for information to landowners saying they intended to locate the new facility on between 34 and 49 acres within 150 miles of New York City, and in New York State, and that they are planning to build a total of 250,000 square feet of buildings, towers and employee parking.

The issue became the subject of debate among Town Board members last month, as Mr. Walter said he felt the town should back Islip/McArthur Airport as the site of the new facility, because it would be bad for all of Long Island if that airport, which has struggled financially of late, were to close.

Ms. Giglio and a majority of Town Board members said they believed the town should try to lure the facility to EPCAL.

Councilman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) also encouraged the move.

The facility at Islip now, and the one being proposed, is not an air traffic control tower for any specific airport, and would handle air traffic from the Northeast region.

Officials have said it does not need to be located at an active airport.

The 50 acres being offered is owned by Riverhead Town and located near the Stony Brook Business Incubator at EPCAL off Route 25.

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02/25/13 11:22am
02/25/2013 11:22 AM
MICHAEL WHITE FILE PHOTO | An FAA control tower currently at MacArthur Airport in Islip Town.

MICHAEL WHITE FILE PHOTO | An FAA control tower currently at MacArthur Airport in Islip Town.

Federal Aviation Administration officials are coming to Riverhead Town in mid-March to check out 50 acres at the town’s Enterprise Park in Calverton the FAA is considering for a new air traffic control complex, town officials said.

If the EPCAL land is selected for the complex, as many as 800 jobs could come to Riverhead, said Riverhead Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, who is coordinating the town’s effort to woo the FAA and announced the news through a press release Monday.

EPCAl in Riverhead, FAA

NEWS-REVIEW FILE PHOTO | A view of the EPCAL site from the sky.

The facility would replace the FAA’s current air traffic control facilities at Long Island, one at MacArthur Airport in Islip and another  in Westbury, according to federal officials.

EDITORIAL: FAA complex would be a welcome boost

Ms. Giglio said the town submitted its response to a request for information from the FAA by the Jan. 31 deadline, offering up 50 acres adjacent to the Stony Brook Business Incubator on Route 25, free of charge, to the FAA.

“The important thing is to keep the jobs on Long Island, getting them all to stay here,” said Ms. Giglio, who added that 800 skilled workers at EPCAL would bring more people to Riverhead’s restaurants, golf courses and other businesses.

“The secondary industries would be phenomenal, as well as secondary spending with this type of facility as an anchor,” she said.

On offering the land for free, she said, “I think [the free land] would act as a loss leader, so we can create secondary industries and spending.”

At its height, the Grumman Corporation that for decades ran a fighter jet testing and assembly facility at the site employed about 3,000 workers.

Ms. Giglio said she was expecting a call later Monday to confirm when, exactly, FAA officials would be visiting, and whether they will just be viewing the site or spending the day in Riverhead to see what the town has to offer workers.

The new facility would incorporate state-of-the-art satellite air traffic equipment, replacing older, radar-based equipment now used at the Islip and Westbury facilities.

Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter, who was initially against trying to lure the FAA to town because he and other supervisors pledged to support Islip’s proposal, said he was glad federal officials would be touring the site.

“I think its wonderful…. It’s always positive when people are coming to look at property at EPCAL. I’m certainly interested in any leads for selling property there.”

He didn’t think the meeting would be open to the public, but added “all the details” have not been worked out yet.

Ms. Giglio said the existing Islip facility, which currently has about 800 employees, is also used as a training area for air traffic controllers who are later sent to airports throughout the county.

“I think they’re looking for an easy commute for their employees at the Islip base,” she said.

Initial specs the town has received from the FAA say any towers to be installed would not have windows, and she believes none of them would be taller than the 75-foot height restriction currently at EPCAL, Ms. Giglio said.

FAA officials said last month they intended to locate the facility on between 34 and 49 acres within 150 miles of New York City, and in New York State.

The federal officials are planning to build a total of 250,000 square feet of buildings, towers and parking for the employees.

SEE PRIOR NEWS-REVIEW COVERAGE

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See the Feb. 28 News-Review newspaper for more information.