Costs are soaring for helicopter rides between Manhattan and the Hamptons this summer thanks to new flight restrictions expected to limit aircraft in and out of the East Hampton Airport in Wainscott.
Representatives of Blade Air Mobility, the app-based chopper ride booking service, confirmed reports that trips to East Hampton Airport will be $1,025 — up nearly 30% from $795 per passenger — once new rules limit the company to one trip per day, diverting many of Blade’s flights to surrounding airports.
“The Town of East Hampton’s limitations on commercial landings at East Hampton Airport has necessitated the expansion of our schedule to neighboring landing zones,” Blade CEO Rob Wiesenthal told Bloomberg, which first reported the story. “Over 90% of our current fliers surveyed have indicated they will utilize neighboring landing zones if faced with a sold out schedule to East Hampton.”
The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the Town of East Hampton’s plan to convert its airport from public to private use by deactivating the airport 11:59 p.m. May 17 and activating the new airport in Wainscott at 9 a.m. May 19. The switch enables the town to enact new flight curfews and other aircraft restrictions. The FAA on April 22 formally approved the town’s application to provide “special procedures,” making instrument landings possible at the new airport, which will be known as JPX instead of HTO.
“The FAA approval confirms that all safety and operational capabilities that have been available at HTO will be available at JPX upon its opening,” the town said.