• Burlington residents speak out against F-35s
    August 14,2013

    Residents speak

    out against F-35s

    BURLINGTON — A Burlington meeting on a proposal to base F-35 fighter planes at the Vermont Air National Guard in South Burlington drew mostly critics.

    Many Burlington residents who spoke during the public comments period at Monday night’s City Council meeting were against the proposal.

    The opponents cited environmental, economic, legal, safety and health risks posed by the new fighter planes, The Burlington Free Press reported.

    A failure to voice opposition to the action before the Air Force makes a final decision could turn into “a horrendous and irreparable mistake,” said resident Paul Fleckenstein.

    The Air Force has identified the Guard installation at the Burlington International Airport as the preferred candidate for up to 24 of the aircraft and is expected to make a final decision this fall.

    In South Burlington, the airport’s host city, councilors last month voted in favor of the F-35, reversing an earlier decision. The Winooski City Council voted in July to oppose the basing plan.

    Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, as well as Gov. Peter Shumlin, U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. and Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., have said the plane is important to the state’s economy.

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