The latest controversy over the potential basing of F-35 fighter jets at the Burlington International Airport isn’t over the plane. It’s about why the Burlington City Council has cancelled a review of the matter.
The U.S. Air Force is in the process of deciding where it will base a new jet, the F-35. Burlington International Airport, which is the host airfield for the Vermont Air National Guard, is on the short list and a preferred site for hosting the state-of-the-art plane. But the idea is controversial, with split votes in surrounding communities over support for the aircraft. Thursday morning, Vermont National Guard officials met with the media to discuss issues relating to the F-35.
The U.S. Air Force says information regarding support for basing the new F-35 fighter jet at the Burlington International Airport was overstated in the just released revised Environmental Impact Statement. But supporters say the corrected numbers are still skewed because officials are counting a petition with more than 10,000 signatures as only one comment.
An article in the Boston Globe this weekend implied that Vermont’s senior U.S. Senator used his influence to manipulate the base selection process for the Air Force’s new fighter jet. Those against basing the F35 at the South Burlington National Guard Base are pleased, but supporters say the article lacks credibility.
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin says he'll travel to Florida next week to listen to the F-35 fighter jet and then go to Italy to give a speech and take some vacation time.
The governor says he heard during this year's campaign from some voters concerned that if the Air Force goes ahead with plans to base F-35s at the Burlington Airport, noise from the planes will plague surrounding residential areas.
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.