by John Herrick vtdigger.org Opponents of the F-35 fighter jet are bringing the issue of noise to the Vermont Supreme Court. Four F-35 opponents Wednesday appealed a lower court decision rejecting their request that Burlington, which owns the Burlington International Airport, obtain an Act 250 development permit to host a fleet of F-35 fighter jets set to arrive in 2020. The US Air Force estimated noise levels around the airport will increase with the new jets and will include thousands of more homes within an area considered “unsuitable for residential use,” a chief concern that critics of the F-35 basing decisions want addressed through permit conditions that would limit noise impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods.
The US Air Force last year selected the Vermont Air National Guard as the location to host 18 F-35 fighter jets that will replace the Guard’s current F-16s.
To host the new jets, Guard officials estimate up to $4 million in construction upgrades will be necessary. The largest anticipated construction will be to flight simulation facilities used for training, officials say.
These upgrades to the base require an amended or new Act 250 permit application, the appellants say.