The Air Force has rejected a request to update an assessment of the potential effects of afterburner noise from basing F-35A fighter jets at Burlington International Airport (BIA), Vt., according to a Mychamplainvalley.com report.
Air Force Assistant Secretary John Henderson denied the opponents’ request to update its 2013 Environmental Impact Statement in a letter to the attorney representing, retired Col. Rosanne Greco, according to the report.
“There is neither a change in the proposed action or significant new information which would require the Air Force to prepare a supplement to the FEIS, nor a reason to stay the F-35A operational basing at BIA,” Henderson wrote.
Afterburners are auxiliary jets that increase the thrust of the F-35 on takeoff and the additional power creates more noise.
In August, James Dumont, Greco’s attorney, contacted the Air Force after reports surfaced that the Air Force predicted up to 10 times more afterburner use than anticipated at other F-35 bases, according to the report.
In September, the Vermont National Guard prepared for the arrival of the first two F-35As and Brig. Gen. Greg Knight said the Guard is committed to afterburner use just 5% of the time, the report said.
Henderson’s letter reinforced the 5% figure, adding that the Air Force would continue to participate in the airport’s noise mapping.
Greco said Henderson should have provided more information, according to the report.
“They talked about tracking afterburner take-offs but said nothing about what they would do if their estimates were wrong or if their plans didn’t work out,” Greco said. “Citizens deserve to know the what-ifs.”
Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger