Proposed Air National Guard Fighter Jets draw concerns

Madison, Wis (WMTV) -- The Air National Guard plans to bring in F-35A Fighter Jets to Truax Field in Madison, which is raising concerns for both people who live near the area and lawmakers.

"I'm growing hops that will be used for beer," Steve Klafka said.

It's safe to say Klafka spends a lot of time outside.

"We’re painting our house now so scraping and preparation work on it," he said.

Because he’s only two miles from the airport, it can get noisy.

He said when planes and the current F-16 Fighter Jets fly over his home, it takes his breath away.

"You have to stop your conversation, It shakes your windows. It can be kind of scary if you're not expecting it," he said

According to the Air National Guard Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a thousand homes near Truax Field would reach between 70 and 75 decibels. Then, as the F-35A Fighter Jets pass by, that could go up to about 110 decibels, about as loud as a rock concert.

Lawmakers also said they're concerned about who it’s impacting.

State Rep. Chris Taylor, Dane County Board Supervisor Yogesh Chawla and Madison Alder Marsha Rummel said in a statement, “We are very concerned about the Air National Guard's own conclusion that the F-35 program disparately impacts low-income communities and children."

The EIS documents said the noise can stretch that reaches 75 decibels would affect 132 households and 292 people, resulting in what the report said is unsuitable for residential use.

Madison is just one of the potential bases for the F-35A Fighter Jets. Eighteen bases were considered, but the search has been narrowed down to five, including bases in Alabama, Idaho, Florida and Michigan.

To comment on the proposal, click here.

For the full F-35A EIS draft, click here.