By: Kevin McCallum for Seven Days, Aug. 29, 2019
Opponents of the decision to base F-35 fighter jets in Burlington say newly obtained documents suggest the aircraft will likely be far louder than the U.S. Air Force and Vermont Air National Guard have previously acknowledged.
With the arrival of the next generation fighters just weeks away, critics led by Rosanne Greco, a retired Air Force colonel, are demanding the secretary of the Air Force block the basing of the plane at Burlington International Airport until new sound studies can be conducted.
They argue that sound studies predicting how the fighter would affect the area assumed that the jets would use their afterburners less than 5 percent of time. New documents, however, suggest afterburner usage might be 10 times that much — or more, Greco said.
“The Air Force finally had to admit to the public what they knew for a long time — that at the large Air Force bases where the F-35 is currently flying … they are taking off in afterburner 50 to 100 percent of the time,” Greco said at a press conference Thursday outside Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-Vt.) Burlington office.