By: Jen Fifield for AZ Central, Feb. 5, 2019
As skies around Luke Air Force Base get busier and noisier, the base wants West Valley residents who live nearby to know that this is the new norm.
The base’s F-35 program is growing, as planned. With more planes and more pilots to train, there’s more training flights each day, and the time between flights — and noise from an overhead plane — is shrinking.
The base hit a milestone in January. For the first time, there were more than 1,000 F-35 flights from the base in one month, said Becky Heyse, a base spokeswoman.
Also last month, the base saw a dramatic increase in noise complaints from those living around the base, Heyse said. She declined to provide the number of complaints in January. In all of 2018, there were about 80, according to numbers provided by Luke near the end of the year.
The number of complaints coming in so far this month seem more normal, Heyse said.
But the number of flights, and the noise, will continue to grow as the program grows. Luke officials are asking residents for their continued support, Heyse said.