Rep. Mark Pocan calls for further noise impact testing at Truax

By  | 

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)-- U.S. Representative Mark Pocan is formally requesting the Air Force to do further noise testing at Truax Air National Guard Base prior to potential placement of F-35A jets.

Pocan, who represents Wisconsin's Second District, said on Tuesday he heard from Madison community members who are concerned about the assessments of the Day, Night, Average Sound Level (DNL) metric.

"Today, I formally request the Air Force in coordination with the 115th Fighter Wing test the F-35 flight pattern at Truax Air National Guard Base," said Pocan. "Specifically, the Air Force should conduct a take-off and landing of the F-16 and the F-35 planes so community members will have a more accurate understanding of the noise impact from the F-35 mission.”

Pocan's statement comes as the Madison Common Council considers a resolution to oppose plans to base nearly 20 F-35's at Truax Field.The resolution cites noise impact as well as pollution for asking the National Guard to reconsider possible placement in Madison.

The Madison base is one of five locations under consideration to host the new jets that would replace F-16s currently flown by the 115th Fighter Wing.

According to the Air Force's Environmental Impact Study (EIS) of Truax Field, the new jets would fly 6,222 operations per year. That is 27 percent more than current operations.

The EIS estimates more than 1,000 additional homes near Dane County Regional Airport would be dealing with an average daily noise level from the F-35 jets above 65 decibels. However, when the jets pass over homes, the decibel level would reach 110 decibels. According to the Air Force, that's about the same as a loud rock concert.

According to the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, there would be an additional 1,264 permanent jobs, 400 construction workers, and $100 million in annual economic activity if Truax Field was selected.

The deadline to comment on the environmental study is Sept. 27. A final decision is expected in February.

If approved, the first F-35 jets could arrive in Madison in 2023.