A local group opposed to a decision to base 18 new F-35 fighter jets at Burlington Air Guard Station, Vt., filed a lawsuit last week against Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James to stop the move.
The suit — filed in federal court by the Stop the F-35 Coalition — contends the aircraft will generate noise in excess of 65 decibels averaged over a day-night basis, reported the Burlington Free Press. The lawsuit had been expected since the Air Force selected Burlington International Airport in December as the first Air National Guard location for the fifth-generation aircraft despite opponents arguing the new aircraft will be significantly louder than the F-16 it will replace and present a potential safety risk.
The plaintiffs claim that noise generated by the F-35s will render an additional 1,444 nearby homes unsuitable for occupancy. The suit criticizes the Air Force’s environmental studies, arguing the correct noise baseline should have been a scenario with no aircraft based there since officials plan to eliminate the Air Guard Station’s F-16s regardless of whether the F-35s come to South Burlington.
The Air Force plans to base the new aircraft at the Air Guard station starting in 2020.