More and More Helicopter Noise?

If you are annoyed about the increasing helicopter noise overhead, disrupting your days
and evenings? Please contact your State Senators, Congressional Representative, Assembly Representative and Town Board and local airports to let them know your concerns.

Here are some 800 phone numbers, a website and an email to register your complaint.

  • Call East Hampton noise complaint line 1-800-376-4817
  • Also call Eastern Region Helicopter Council at 1-800-319-7410
  • Fill out the online form at
  • Email with your complaints.

Below is a letter from the Town of Riverhead listing the contact offices of the FAA, NYS Senatorial offices, NYS Congressional offices, NYS Assembly offices, and local airports. To download a PDF copy of this letter, please click here

Residents have been complaining about helicopter noise to their senators, congressional representatives, and town councils for many years now. Yet, both local and NYC media report that aircraft noise complaints have grown steadily as the rate of helicopter and plane traffic has increased greatly over the past few years.

On Oct 23, 2017, senate Bill S4333 was signed by Governor Cuomo in the 2017-2018 Legislative Session. Senate Bill S4333 is a home rule bill meant to ensure the participation of the town voters in financial commitments of the Town of East Hampton and the FAA for improvements to East Hampton Airport.  East end residents had petitioned the Governor to sign Bill S4333 to help stem the unbridled growth of the airport.

Examples of the rapid growth of air traffic and aircraft noise complaints in recent years:

  • In the first eight months of 2014, the East Hampton Airport has been reported to have logged over 14,000 takeoffs and landings.
  • There is a new helicopter service (not yet approved) that has proposed to service the North Fork via Mattituck airport. See
  • A private chartered helicopter trip can cost thousands from New York City to the East End of Long Island, but new chopper services enable passengers to purchase individual seats for much less, about $500 or more.
  • In the past few years North Fork residents have voiced objections to passenger helicopters and other aircraft landing in farm fields and agricultural zones for winery tours by tourists.
  • Real estate agencies have offered select clients free helicopter trips from New York City  to view prime real estate on the East End.

But, does filing a complaint about helicopter noise really work ?

Filing a complaint at may help, especially if many neighbors in an affected area work in coordination to file their complaints about aircraft noise on a regular basis.


A case study by Eastern Region Helicopter Council using data from the ERHC's PlaneNoise Complaint Box shows how such coordination may achieve results.

From the planenoise website:
"In 2013, ERHC's PlaneNoise Complaint Box received and processed 1,848 complaints from 94 distinct households, with the majority of complaints coming from Long Island's North Fork...
PlaneNoise identified that over 1,400 complaints (80% of the total) were from 10 households -- six of which were located on the North Fork.

By mapping each complaint it was clear that through ERHC’s voluntary noise abatement procedures Long Island’s helicopter noise issues have been reduced and contained within the two geographic areas.

ERHC uses PlaneNoise data to focus on the issues, identify noise trends and areas of concern and take quick and decisive actions through what is a voluntary and flexible mitigation structure. For example, at ERHC’s request, its members began flying a more diversified route structure to reduce high peak period traffic volumes along the North Shore and over the North Fork, and the number of households filing noise complaints dropped considerably."

However, as the rapid growth of the East End air traffic in recent years continues, as outlined in the bullet list above, will a few pilots flying different routes during high peak periods really help mitigate the volume of aircraft noise?

Zoning Board has denied the proposed

Retail Wine Shop and Tasting Room in

the Rural Corridor Zone (RLC) in


On Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 7PM in Town Hall, the Zoning Board released their decision to deny the DC Industries' appeal for a change of use to the Rural Corridor zoning to allow a retail wine store and wine bar for the RLC property at Main Road and Tuthill Lane in Jamesport.

An Incentive for Restoration for Historic

Buildings and Sites in the RLC Zone

Historic buildings and sites in the RLC zone will be offered an incentive for restoration in an effort by the Landmark Commission to preserve the Main Road's historical heritage from Route 105 to the Southold border.

Special permits may be obtained by owners who wish to enlarge their existing buildings for use as professional offices of attorneys, architects, medical doctors or dentists, as wellness facilities or as general offices provided that the property conforms to the following:

  • Such property must be designated as a landmark pursuant to Article III of Chapter 241 of the Town Code of the Town of Riverhead or be property that is located in and contributes to the character of a designated historic district, created pursuant to Article III of Chapter 241 of the Town Code of the Town of Riverhead.
  • The existing historic structure must be preserved and restored following guidelines and review standards established in Article IV of Chapter 241 of the Town Code of the Town of Riverhead.
  • Any additions thereto must meet guidelines and review standards established in Article III of Chapter 241 of the Town Code of the Town of Riverhead.
  • Additions to and alteration and rehabilitation of exteriors are approved by the Town’s Landmarks Preservation Commission prior to commencement of work.
  • The floor area of additions shall not exceed 100% of the floor area of the existing structure or 3,000 square feet, whichever is less.
  • The lot coverage of additions shall not exceed the total lot coverage allowed for this zone.
  • The property has frontage along New York State Route 25 between Route 105 and the Town boundary with the Town of Southold.

A New Law Provides Tax Breaks for the

Properties within Historical Districts

If your house is a Town landmark, or is a property that contributes to the character of a designated Historic District, you can apply for a tax exemption if you’re doing an historic restoration. The exemption from taxation applies to any increase in your property's value attributable to the alteration or restoration for the first 5 years. Then the percentage of tax exemption decreases 20% yearly for the next 5 years.

For more information, click here.

URT and Fuel Cell Project

3/8/17 UPDATE: Town of Riverhead Zoning Board has denied URT's application for a fuel cell installation

A proposal from Fuel Cell Technology called for a 1.4 MW fuel cell plant to be installed adjacent to Sound Shore Road at United Riverhead Terminal with the electricity going to PSEGLI, waste heat going to heat tanks at URT, and air emissions and wastewater to be discharged on site. The Northville Beach Civic Association and RNPC has opposed this project. 

An application for the fuel cell plant was submitted to the Zoning Board by United Riverhead Terminal for an expansion of the non-conforming use. The proposed fuel energy cell would discharge waste water into the aquifer, would use 6,480 gallons of water each day, and would require new high voltage transmission lines to be constructed.

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Photos courtesy of Design Plus