Congressman Pocan submits F-35 public comment, requests demonstration

By  | 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WMTV)-- U.S. Representative Mark Pocan is calling on the Air Force to do a flight demonstration at Truax Air National Guard Base in Madison to compare F-35 and F-16 jets.

Pocan made the request in a formal public comment submitted on Wednesday. Pocan wants to compare noise levels between the two aircraft.

The U.S. Air Force selected Truax as a preferred alternative to receive the F-35s.

A draft Environmental Impact Statement was released in August . According to the report, the jets would increase noise for those living near Truax Field. During take-off, the jets can reach 110 decibels or more which is the equivalent of standing next to a car horn. According to the report, the noise would render more than 1,000 homes incompatible for residential use.

“I believe it is imperative that there is an F-35 and F-16 take-off and landing comparison at Truax before any final decision is made due to the general public’s inability to understand the draft EIS’s description of possible noise level increases and their impacts,” said Pocan.

There were several F-35 arrivals and departures at Truax between late July and mid-August.

  • Jul. 28: One F-35 departed 4:58 p.m. (arrival time unknown)

  • Aug 13: Two F-35s arrived 6:08 p.m.

  • Aug. 13: One F-35 arrived 8:30 p.m.

  • Aug. 14: One F-35 departed 10:13 a.m.

  • Aug. 14: Two F-35s departed 12:20 p.m.
  • On Aug. 14, a single online complaint was filed regarding noise. According to the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce, from Oct. 2018- Mar. 2019, there were 86 noise complaints related to military aircraft.

    Pocan also addressed concerns the Air Force is not committed financially to support noise mitigation efforts for homes, schools, and other community buildings impacted by F-35s.

    “I believe the Air Force must commit publicly to securing funding for anyone impacted by the placement of the F-35 in Madison,” said Pocan.
    U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson have voiced support for the jets.Supporters said the beddown will bring more jobs to the area and bolster Madison’s economy.

    The deadline is Nov. 1 to submit public comment online.