Despite outcries from irritated locals, the luxury helicopter service, Blade—which flies people from Manhattan to East Hampton in about 45 minutes with seats usually setting passengers back about $795—won’t be ceasing its operations at the East Hampton Airport anytime soon.
Earlier this spring, the East Hampton Town Board voted to revoke a license agreement with the company which would impact Blade’s permit to have a check-in desk at the East Hampton Airport. The town does not have the right to keep Blade from operating at the airport—only the Federal Aviation Administration can implement such regulations.
So of course, Blade didn’t stop bringing people to and from the Hamptons and touching down at the East Hampton Airport. At the time, Blade spokesperson, Simon McLaren, told Curbed that the helicopter company “continues to arrange flights between Manhattan and East Hampton in full compliance with all federal regulations.”
The town’s motivation to stop the service is due largely to the noise complaints that have been filed over the years in the surrounding East Hampton area.
While the Hamptons helicopter wars aren’t over yet, Blade is doing what it can to mend its reputation and work with the town and community to satisfy the request for less noise pollution.
To give some perspective, last year over 1,000 noise complaints were filed over Memorial Day Weekend alone.
According to the Air Noise Report, those complaints multiplied this past Memorial Day Weekend. On Friday, May 25, 1,948 complaints were filed, and on Monday, May 28, there were 2,049.
Of course, Blade cannot be the only one to blame for the noise complaints in the East Hampton area. The local airport services private aircrafts as well—celebrities like Ira Rennert and Michael Bloomberg are known to fly their personal helicopters in, too.
According to the New York Post, the town is now reconsidering a new deal with Blade, largely due to the fact that Blade got “all the necessary certifications in order, including a Part 380 charter that allows it to sell single seats.”
Blade worked with the town and filed the Part 380 charter because the town wanted to ensure that the Department of Transportation was aware of the company’s activities. The Part 380 charter requires more filing with the DOT and ultimately allows the DOT to have greater visibility over Blade’s operations. It’s more structural, but will not impact the way that Blade flies, operates, or services its clients.
Blade has also stated that they’re committed to using quieter aircrafts to transport passengers.
The aviation company posted on their Instagram earlier this week with a headline of the New York Post article and a caption saying:
Being a good neighbor is a priority to BLADE. — “We look forward to continued productive discussions with the Town of East Hampton about ways we can help achieve their objective of reducing aircraft noise.
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- Blade isn’t leaving East Hampton after all [New York Post]
- East Hampton Town Board votes to revoke license agreement with helicopter service BLADE [Curbed Hamptons]
- The Hamptons Helicopter War Is Back On [Vanity Fair]