Air Force denies request for F-35 demonstration at Truax Field

Wisconsin State Journal, October 4, 2019 – MITCHELL SCHMIDT

[OUR COMMENT: Many of us have been concerned that a one-time demonstration might not be an accurate representation of what people would be hearing most of the time. But note that the measure of the sound impact is clearly an average over 24 hours – not a single flight.]

The U.S. Air Force has denied requests for a demonstration of the noise difference between the F-16 jets already present at Truax Field and proposed, louder F-35 jets.

In a letter to U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Black Earth, acting Air Force Secretary Matthew Donovan said an F-35 take-off and landing demonstration at the Madison-based airfield would “only present a momentary experience of that aircraft’s noise, which would serve no evaluative purpose” and would “inject subjectivity that would undermine the deliberative environmental analysis.”

Donovan said the sound impact of a jet is measured as an average of all airplane noise in the area over 24 hours — not with a single flight, which he said can be influenced by wind speed and direction, air temperature, humidity and the plane’s take-off weight.