A new report from a group that supports siting a new fighter jet at the Burlington International Airport says property values will not be hurt by the increased noise. The report is out at the same time opponents of the aircraft plan to protest a political fundraiser.
The Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation, or GBIC, studied 10 years worth of Chittenden County property value data in the area surrounding the airport. GBIC President Frank Cioffi says they looked at property values both in and outside of airport noise affected areas. Cioffi says properties in South Burlington and Winooski held their value and the possible arrival of new F-35 fighter jets at Burlington International Airport will not reduce property values.
While the GBIC is a strong supporter of basing the fighter jets in the Burlington area, a number of residents are adamantly opposed. The Stop the F35 Coalition is protesting the Vermont Congressional delegation’s support of the plane at a Democratic fundraising event this evening in Burlington. Retired Air National Guard member and Colchester resident Roger Bourassa is helping organize the rally.
The Vermont Democratic Party says the Congressional delegation is in Washington and will not be at tonight’s fundraiser. Party Spokesperson Ariel Wengroff says they have reached out to the protesters.
Debate over the potential siting of the plane at the Burlington airport has intensified since the Air Force released a draft environmental impact statement in March that said the F-35s would be noisier than the planes they would replace, but did not specify how much louder.