Commercial air traffic at Burlington International Airport has taken a nosedive, but across the runway, the Vermont Air National Guard continues to send its new F-35s roaring into the skies daily.
The juxtaposition of the recent plunge in civilian air traffic with an increase in the number of F-35s operating at the base has made their presence more pronounced of late. The first two next-generation jets arrived last September, but the Guard now boasts a fleet of 15.
“People are noticing them a little bit more often because all other flights are significantly lower right now,” said Nic Longo, deputy director of aviation at the airport.
The increase in people at home when the planes streak overhead could also be contributing to the heightened awareness of the new aircraft, which are louder than the F-16s they replaced.