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Public complains about F-35 jet noise
VALPARAISO -- People in Valparaiso are concerned about more F-35 jets flying over the city. The Air Force wants to increase the number of flights from Eglin... and that could mean noisier take-offs and landings on a runway near the city. Dozens showed up at a meeting tonight to discuss the issue.
This gives you an example of how people showed up to that public hearing-- packed inside the first Baptist Church of Valparaiso- expressing their concerns with more F-35s flying over the city. Noise concerns have been a longstanding issue in Valparaiso, ever since the F-35 jets arrived in 2012.
But as more students go through the program, the more time they spend in the air.
John Havard said, "They do rumble the house.... it shakes the house."
John Havard is worried about property values going down.
He says the noise is tolerable now, but that could change with more F-35s flying.
"I certainly hope they listen to residents of Valparaiso... No matter what they do,” Havard said.
At a packed meeting, Eglin Airforce base officials discussed their proposed plan to accommodate the jets and residents' needs.
There are eight alternatives...But one plan could mean homes being exposed to more jet noise.
There is currently 28 F-35s at Eglin and training has already begun.
Chief environmental analysis Thomas Larry Chavers said, "they'll intensify the training more and more... But upgrades to the aircraft itself"
David Benton lives in "the red zone." his house is one of the closest to the runway.
“As they come in... They come right by our house," he said.
He and his wife Dottie have mixed feelings on more F-35s flying over their home... The noise already causes problems.
Dottie said, “When they fly over... upright position in bed."
All public comments will be taken into consideration. The decision is ultimately left in the hands of the air force. A decision should come into play next year.