News Release — Steve May
July 25, 2018
E: [email protected]
CALLS FOR LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT HEARINGS
Without question the purposed change in mission for the VT Air National Guard has real and tangible consequences. For the communities which border it, the deployment of F-35’s promises to have a terrific impact across activities of daily living for scores of Vermonters. The F-35 is a much louder aircraft than the planes which have been used to date by the Air Guard in Burlington. The guard has been given the F-35 as its future mission. And as such, the guard has an obligation to offset the potential harms associated with this transition. This is has a moral obligation; to mitigate all significant harms to the community.
The F-35 is a substantially larger aircraft than the jets currently being accommodated at Burlington. The planes’ size creates substantial impacts on the community. It is imperative that any presence for the larger mission consider the need to lessen its impacts on the larger community. Mitigation may take a variety of forms, but all of them correspond to a need for the Air Guard to put in more than they take out in terms of our collective quality of life. Historically, an aircraft of this kind would not have been deployed to an urban airfield like Burlington. Just as this mission would not have been assigned to a detachment based to at New York’s LaGuardia or Boston’s Logan airports. The Air Guard has an affirmative obligation to mitigate the social impacts of introducing the F-35 to Burlington- this is a moral imperative and is not a question of law.