By: Jasper Craven for VTDigger, December 19, 2018
Release of the first noise map for the Burlington International Airport to include data on the F-35 fighter jets will be delayed by two months, according to airport officials.
The map was originally scheduled to be released this week, but won’t be available until sometime in February, according to Gene Richards, the Director of Aviation at the Burlington Airport. The maps, which include noise data from commercial flights out of BTV as well as military jets used by the Vermont Air National Guard, are used in the federal government’s calculation for noise mitigation grants. The F-35 sound figures will be projections.
The contractor making the map, the Jones Payne Group, was unable to gather and analyze the requisite noise data by the original deadline, Richards said. This data comes from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the military. FAA environmental program manager Richard Doucette directed all questions to airport officials. A spokesperson for the Vermont National Guard could not be reached for comment.
Richards said he is confident the requisite data will be collected and analyzed soon. What matters most, he says, is producing accurate noise estimates.
“What is most important is we have as many indicators and as much information as possible, to make these maps complete and accurate,” Richards said.
The current map, produced in 2015, doesn’t factor in the noise from F-35A fighter jets, which will be based at Vermont Air National Guard starting in September 2019.
In February, VTDigger published a five-part series examining the impending basing of the jets at the guard, which will be the first unit in the country to receive the troubled fighter system.