Billionaire business tycoon Ira Rennert first ticked of his neighbours in the Hamptons in the late 1990s when he built Fair Field, a 110,000-square-foot estate in Sagaponack that’s believed to be the largest inhabited home in America.Now, they’re seething over his latest toy–a thunderous Sikorsky S-92 helicopter that he uses to fly back and forth between his mansion and New York City.
But this time, the neighbours are fighting back, Mother Jones’ Josh Harkinson reports.
Last year, Frank Dalene, a Hamptons resident himself and founder of a luxury homebuilding company, formed the Quiet Skies Coalition, an anti-helicopter group aimed at stomping out the constant, irritating sounds of choppers flying to and from East Hampton Airport.
Rennert, who has made enemies over his controversial business practices (he’s been accused of putting several of his companies into bankruptcy rather than paying environmental cleanup fees) is the perfect villain for the anti-helicopter group.
But it’s not just his choppers (he owns two) that are destroying the peace on the East End. According to Harkinson:
…the situation has become intolerable over the past few years, Dalene says, thanks to a whirlybird craze among the investment bankers and hedge fund gurus who weekend in Sagaponack and Southampton. On Friday afternoons the tiny airport is a beehive. Come summer, some CEOs commute daily between their beach chalets and Manhattan’s East 34th Street Heliport.
All those helicopter commuters should beware: Dalene has identified more than 160 helicopters that have whizzed past his house–and snapped photos of many of their passengers at the local airport. And he’s “entertaining the notion of publishing his celebrity shame list and staging protests at the airport this summer,” writes Harkinson.
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