- Aly Weisman/Business Insider
The rise in traffic from private jets and helicopters traveling to the Hamptons is causing residents grief.
The introduction of new ride-sharing helicopter companies, most notably BLADE, has made air travel there more convenient. But that means noise many residents aren’t happy about, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The service, which has been called “Uber for helicopters” costs as little as $695 for a one-way seat to the Hamptons and takes just 40 minutes to travel from Midtown Manhattan to the end of Long Island.
East Hampton, which has its own airport that serves small charter planes, private jets, and helicopters, is one of the worst spots for noise pollution.
More than 26,000 aircraft-related noise complaints were registered in 2016, up from about 24,000 the previous year, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing city data.
Kathleen Cunningham, a full-time East Hamptons resident, lives three miles away from the airport.
“Helicopters have made it unbearable with ride-sharing,” she told Business Insider,
“It completely changes your ability to function, sometimes it’s so loud you can’t think. If there are multiple flights, you are in a state of hyper-alert; it’s like you’re being attacked,” she said.
It’s not just East Hampton, other Long Island towns are also suffering. Nearby Westhampton has shown its solidarity by posting a link to a noise complaint registry (Air Noise Report) on the town website to allow its residents to make complaints. So far, there have been10,283 complaints in 2017.
According to Cunningham, the summer months are the worst. “You end up welcoming a rainy day,” she said.
Cunningham is one of many residents who has been advocating against the noise pollution and supporting the town in its legal action to bring back curfews on when these flights can occur.
These curfews, which previously prevented flights from being scheduled during nighttime hours and limited the amount of trips that a specific aircraft could take, were removed after air-charter operators sued the town and the case was taken to court.
The case is now sitting with the US Supreme Court and East Hampton residents are expecting to hear whether it will be heard this month.
“I don’t expect they will,” said Cunningham, “but I am hopeful.”