Say NO to KHTO Mission
K H T O is the code which identifies East Hampton Airport within the global air navigation system.
Codes are established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and are used in global as well as U.S. flight planning and air traffic control (AirNav).
Say NO to KHTO is a community group dedicated to exploring environmentally-friendly and far more equitable community use of 570 acres of Town-owned land which currently accommodates KHTO.
The environmental benefits of uses other than aviation on commercially-zoned town land are essential to protect the health, safety and well-being of the community as well as of residents across the East End and the length and breadth of Long Island.
Aerial view KHTO, Wainscott
Say NO to KHTO is a Sag Harbor-based community organization, co-founded in 2016 by Patricia Currie (Southampton resident ) and Barry Raebeck (East Hampton resident).
▪ our mission is to inform, educate and advocate for transformation of land currently used as an airport to safe, environmentally-responsible and sustainable uses
▪ represent concerns of any resident negatively impacted by KHTO
▪ work with individuals from NYC to the East End and a coalition of community groups within the five East End towns to encourage elected officials to support re-envisioning of KHTO.
Say NO supporters are noise-affected people living up to 100 miles from KHTO, East Hampton's noisy polluting airport. Many have been impacted by noise and toxic air pollution from KHTO for decades. Each year, more people are adversely affected as aviation traffic to KHTO increases, noise pollution intensifies, and air, soil, and water pollution is spread over our communities by toxic aircraft emissions.
In 2019, there were 30,000 aircraft operations enabled by East Hampton Airport.
In 2020, despite little air traffic during the early months of the pandemic (see above image) by year's end, annual flight activity was down only 15 percent compared to 2019.
In 2021, based on increased in the latter part of 2020, this year could be on of the worst on record for air traffic over our area.
Thousands of Long Island residents living beneath FAA-designated flight routes on North and South Shores, and others close to the flight path which follows the LI Railroad track from NYC to Montauk, are impacted daily by KHTO-generated nerve-shattering aerial bombardment which occurs throughout spring and summer and in 2020 continued into late fall.
Pre-pandemic, the nonessential private flights over Thanksgiving weekend heralded the end of the worst assaults over our homes, but a new "normal" may have been established in 2020 as more people with the means to do so now fly "privately", and we anticipate air charter traffic in 2021 will be worse than ever.
Why are there no restrictions or curfews at the East Hampton Airport?
Not only does the FAA rule the skies but since 2016 they also rule on the ground --at any public use airport in the country.
▪ The Town of East Hampton attempted to place curfews and access restrictions years ago, but local control was overruled by the Second Circuit of Appeals. The court ruled in 2016 against Town control of its own airport and against the well-being of residents of Long Island, and handed unfettered access to KHTO to charter operators and owners of commuter seaplanes, huge twin-engine helicopters, lead-fueled small planes and large jet aircraft.
▪ In 2017, the Town of East Hampton took the case for local control of its airport to the next step, asking for a review of the issues by the Supreme Court of the United States. SCOTUS declined to hear the people's case.
▪ No curfews or restrictions of any kind are now in effect at KHTO, the airport is open 24 hours, 7 days per week, 365 days per year, even in weather with poor visibility and despite that many fixed-wing aircraft and most helicopters operate on visual flight rules.
▪ The airport remains under federal control until end September, 2021.
For two decades, residents have shared with elected representatives at federal, state, county and local levels their growing health and safety concerns and horror stories about airport pollution. Nevertheless, at East Hampton Airport, carbon-dense airport operations are accelerating and in 2020, KHTO morphed from a major helicopter and seaplane hub into a jetport at the edge of East Hampton Village.
Despite worldwide concern and the urgent pleas of scientists to reduce rising greenhouses gases to limit far worse effects of climate change than those now devastating large areas of our country, carbon emissions from aviation are expected to grow faster than any other industry in the transportation sector.
It is time to transform the property to bring economic and recreational benefits to the residents of East Hampton, end the threats to our health and environment and halt the loss of quality of life of all East End communities.