SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt.
Plans on where to base the U.S. military’s next- generation fighter jet, the F-35, concern people in communities from California to Florida to Maine who worry the aircraft are too loud.
In Vermont, where the Air National Guard has flown planes from Burlington International Airport for more than 60 years, opponents are especially vocal.
But in other communities, even some long accustomed to the roar of military aircraft, the noise of the F-35 has been an issue.
South Burlington City Council President Rosanne Greco, a retired Air Force officer, said she favored bringing the F-35 to her community until she read the draft environmental impact statement released last spring.
The F-35s “will have incredibly significant negative impact on up to 10,000 people who will be unfortunate enough to be in the noise contour zone that the federal government deems unsuitable for residential use,” Greco said.
“For me, it’s become a clear-cut analytical choice. The facts say this is harmful to our environment,” she said.
The report, she said, considers exposure to average aircraft noise greater than 65 decibels (about the sound of a vacuum cleaner about three feet away) “not considered suitable for residential use.”
Another section discusses the potential long-term health impacts of exposure to aircraft noise.
The plane’s supporters say Greco is exaggerating the number of people who would be affected by the noise contour zone.
And they believe she and others are cherry-picking information from the report without providing its full context.
There is a section of the report that discusses long-term health effects, for example, but it concludes there aren’t any significant health impacts.