Who has jurisdiction in Gardiner?
At recent Gardiner Town Board meetings discussing the proposed cell tower location behind the Town Hall, representatives of the Gardiner Airport have raised questions about the cell towers’ proximity to the airport.
Wireless Edge has filed an application with the FAA to get approval for the 120-foot tower. The FAA approved the location. Representatives from Gardiner Airport complained that the FAA had used Kobelt Airport as the nearest facility. The Town Board requested that Wireless Edge reapply, asking the FAA to consider Gardiner Airport in its consideration. The FAA replied that Gardiner Airport was private and that it had no jurisdiction and the original approval stood.
If the FAA has no jurisdiction, who does? Gardiner Airport contends that if an aircraft has to make an emergency turn to the north, the 120-foot tower would present a danger.
At the last Town Board meeting, it was asked who has say over the operation of the Gardiner Airport. It seems an aircraft flying over the hamlet, the most populated part of Gardiner, at 120 feet or less, could present a danger to the public. If the FAA doesn’t have say over the operation, who does, New York state, Ulster County or the town of Gardiner through zoning laws? Does the Town have the power to tell Gardiner Airport what routes to take to minimize any danger to the citizens? While I realize the airport brings revenue into Gardiner, the reality is that it’s a private business used for recreation overwhelmingly by people who don’t live in Gardiner.
I think the Town Board should find out who sets the rules for the airport’s operation, including number of flights, flight paths, hours of operation and anything else that cause safety concerns for the citizens of Gardiner. When this question was asked at the Town Board meeting, Supervisor Zatz made no response.
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