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Vt. Air Guard hopes for jet, but others fear noise

January 6, 2013 • Business


In this Dec. 17, 2012 photo, Rosanne Greco stands on her porch in South Burlington, Vt. To people hoping the Air Force will choose Vermont as home to at least 18 F-35 fighter planes, the next-generation aircraft is a source of hundreds of jobs, millions of dollars for the local economy and incalculable state pride. To opponents, the plane is a looming nuisance so much louder than its predecessor, the F-16, it will make life unbearable for people beneath its flight path. The Air Force is nearing its decision about where it will base the planes. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — 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.”

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 Login to read more

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