Obama Halts East Hampton Airport Helicopter Traffic

Obama makes helicopter problems disappear—for some
Obama makes helicopter problems disappear—for some, Photo: CULLY/EEFAS, Public Domain

President Obama has been able to accomplish something that East Hampton Town has not.

As you may recall, a judge several weeks ago denied East Hampton Town’s attempt to stop all noisy helicopters from landing at the town’s airport. But for 24 hours last Friday and Saturday, July 24–25, not a single helicopter from the city came out to the Hamptons.

The reason? President Obama was in town Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon, going to a fundraiser, seeing a Broadway show and staying at a midtown Manhattan hotel. As a result, his security people called the FAA and had them ban all helicopter and private plane traffic out of Manhattan, LaGuardia and JFK to the Hamptons while he was here. So from 5:30 p.m. Friday to 4:30 p.m. Saturday not a single chopper bearing a wealthy New Yorker came into East Hampton Airport or the chopper pad at Southampton.

In a way, this was an interesting test to see if such a stoppage would be catastrophic or not. Well, it didn’t seem to dent commerce out here. The few people who take helicopters got out other ways. But it did result in those living near the airport to experience, as it was put, 24 hours of silent bliss.

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