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F-35A fighters such as these may be in use by the Vermont Air National Guard.
F-35A fighters such as these may be in use by the Vermont Air National Guard.

VT rep pushes back against F-35 jet at Burlington

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The Air Force is considering basing its new fighter jet, the F-35, at the Vermont Air National Guard base at the Burlington airport. The plan has encountered fierce opposition from area residents who are worried about noisy training flights. Now a state representative is proposing legislation to slow down the plane's arrival.

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Reported by

Sarah Harris
Reporter and Producer

George Cross is a state representative for Winooski, a city just northwest of the Burlington airport.

Last week Cross introduced a resolution in the Vermont House, urging the state to delay the F-35's arrival.

"It basically says here's the problems that we see at this point, let us wait and not make a decision on this particular round."

But the resolution hasn't received much support in the House. The five other representatives who signed on are also from Chittenden county towns near the airport.

Cross is also planning to introduce a bill into the House that would create a fund for homeowners adversely affected by the planes.

"Basically what the bill does is it creates an F-35 adverse impact compensation program," he explained. "If you support the plane at this point in time, you must also admit that if you're wrong, there's going to be adverse impact on certain people. So we need something that's going to protect the people both in terms of property values and in terms of health impacts."

Cross is one of only a handful of elected officials to oppose the plane.

Vermont's congressional delegation, Governor Peter Shumlin, and Burlington mayor Miro Weinberger support the F-35.

The Air Force will announce its basing decisions later this spring.

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