City Government

F-35 Could Double F-15 Noise Level At Gowen

An interesting report on the noise levels of the F-35 fighter jet proposed for Boise’s Gowen Field.

According to the AIR FORCE TIMES–the unofficial newspaper of the Air Force–noise levels of the F-35 are double those of the F-15s which were here this past summer from the Oregon Air Guard.

The AF Times went on to describe the local impact with regard to the economy: “Overall, 2,146 airmen, sailors and Marines would be assigned to the training wing, including 109 student pilots and 436 student maintainers. In addition, 180 civilians would work for the wing.” No doubt they would spend some money here, but overall it would be an increase in population more than anything else.

All of the hype seeking to locate the fighters (which have not even reached the production stage) would be hard to undo once they are stationed here. It would seem to us that in the name of “jobs” the local politicos are willing to settle for insane noise levels. We don’t recall a single politico announcing, “The F-35 is twice as loud as the F-15, but we would like to have them at Gowen Field which is adjacent to residential neighborhoods.”

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Boise Airport does not have an official noise reduction plan. They just turn everyone south or straight up the freeway out of city limits. There’s no such thing as a reduced power takeoff at Boise in the summer. It’s too hot and too high. I’ve alway thought that Ada county should be charging Boise Airport a noise impact fee since Ada absorbs all the noise and Boise gets all the fees. Give me $100 every time you fly an F-35 within a half mile of my house and I’ll be all for it, otherwise just keep this little gem in Mt. Home.

  2. Return of the Commie Fighters
    Feb 12, 2010, 11:38 pm

    About the only thing more stupid than the F35, is the F35 in Boise. I mean, fighter planes? Get real. Planes like the F35 are little more than hyper expensive toys for sons of senators that are still fighting the commies. When was the last time anyone fought a dog fight? 1970? That was four decades ago!

    As for locating the boondoggle in Boise, exactly what is this mutt supposed to protect us from? Angry Malheurians? Indian uprisings? Anti-Folly-Trolley insurgents? The only foreign county close enough to be a threat is Canada, and I am pretty sure they are not interested in occupying the Boise Valley.

    Don’t even get me started on our red state protectors that are opposed to spending a dime on something that will enhance my health care but are copacetic with busting the bank for throwback cold war crap.

    For gods sake, if they are going to drop a couple $billion on Boise, please, just send the money. The planes will just be an irritating waste.

  3. As an aside, some in the know, including the Rand Corp., and The Center for Defense Information say that the F35 is a performance dog.

    They also accurately predicted tremendous cost overruns. As of now per unit cost is estimated at $115 Million and projected project costs at near $300 Billion and rising.

    These performance and cost problems led Defense Secretary Gates to fire the Military project leader earlier this month.

    But pork is pork, so pass the platter.

  4. The last thing we need at Gowan Field is the F35. Too much noise and besides manned fighter aircraft are becoming a thing of the past. Our great governor talks about how this will help the Idaho economy for 50 years. By then those aircraft will be mothballed in AZ along with billions of $$$ of other aircraft. Get real and keep it out of here.

  5. Bronco Fan 93
    Feb 13, 2010, 11:06 am

    The comment from “Return of the Commie Fighters” is typical of the liberal mindset – clueless !!

    For your information, air superiority is still a vital component of any armed conflict and it will stay that way for many years to come. People who actually understand military tactics recognize this and see the need to keep American fighters and fighter pilots on the cutting edge of technology and skill.

    Also, just so you understand, the point of having an F-35 squadron in Boise isn’t to “protect” Boise from anything. The point is that Boise is close to both MHAFB and fighter training ranges that not many other areas have access to. That makes Boise (and Mountain Home) the perfect place to house and train F-35 pilots and crew.

    Further, it’s pretty obvious that the economy in the Treasure Valley would greatly benefit from having such an increase in the labor force right in our back yard. Believe it or not, we all benefit from that fact.

    Next time, before you spout your liberal drivel, try to be informed about the topic you are speaking of.

  6. BoiseCitizen
    Feb 13, 2010, 12:03 pm

    Amen to that Return. In an world of low tech bombs and IED’s only fools spend billions on advanced aircraft like the F-35. It shows the power of the military industrial complex in this country. Now, thanks to the SCOTUS, these corporations can donate as much as they want to keep the status quo.

  7. Rod in SE Boise
    Feb 13, 2010, 12:32 pm

    Fom Wikipedia:

    The JSF program was designed to replace the U.S. military’s F-16, A-10, F/A-18 (excluding newer E/F “Super Hornet” variants) and AV-8B tactical fighter aircraft. To keep development, production, and operating costs down, a common design was planned in three variants that share 80% of their parts:

    F-35A, conventional take off and landing (CTOL) variant.
    F-35B, short-take off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant.
    F-35C, carrier-based CATOBAR (CV) variant.

    The F-35 is intended to be the world’s premier strike aircraft through 2040, with close- and long-range air-to-air capability second only to that of the F-22 Raptor. The F-35 is required to be four times more effective than existing fighters in air-to-air combat, eight times more effective in air-to-ground combat, and three times more effective in reconnaissance and suppression of air defenses – all while having better range and requiring less logistics support.

    With takeoff weights up to 60,000 lb (27,000 kg), the F-35 is considerably heavier than the lightweight fighters it replaces. In empty and maximum gross weights, it more closely resembles the single-seat, single-engine F-105 Thunderchief which was the largest single-engine fighter of the Vietnam era.

    Now, some opinion: Concerns expressed here about noise are overblown. All military aircraft have cost overruns.

    So, it is not just a “fighter”, but is multi-purpose and the F-22 has already been cancelled. We probably need such an aircraft in our inventory, particularly if we decide to make the rest of the world a no-fly, no boat, no train, no bridge, and no electric power plant zone.

    Whether some of them are based here in Boise makes no difference to me. We need to get back to talking about bringing the BPD under civilian control and de-clawing them.

  8. Bronco Fan 93: Where is your house, so we can fly it right over you every departure.

    MHAFB is a great place for the airplane, but kind of sucks to live there. That’s why the freeway is alive with commuters each shift change. I want to grow the military in Boise, but not with this noisy little beast. It sounds like a problem child right now anyway, so I predict the extended life A-10’s will be here a long time. I think the new noise level “discovery” will make it safe for even those living north and west of the airport to oppose the F-35.

    PS: I agree with the need to be the best in the sky, but we can do that right now with a whole lot less airplane and great pilots and networks; aka IDF.

  9. Dean Gunderson
    Feb 13, 2010, 1:25 pm

    BG ought to check into the status of a joint study between Elmore & Ada Counties (perhaps with Boise City) and the Guard at Gowen and MHAFB. The study’s purpose was to establish an Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB).

    Part of the funding was coming from the federal ACUB allotment, and some directly from the DoD’s funding for the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) legislation.

    I was involved in meetings with both Gowen Field officers, DoD agents, and airport officials in 2007/8 to discuss how to best coordinate the study — and how to best issue the Request for Proposals from interested consultants.

    The RFP was issued, and I believe a consultant was selected — but I don’t know if the study has been completed.

    One of the focuses of the study was to look into ways the activities at Gowen Field and MHAFB might be better integrated — and how these potential activities might effect the civilian population.

    It would seem that the introduction of a new fighter wing operation would have to have been addressed in the study, since it would in all likelihood increase off-base impacts that would have to be mitigated. Such mitigation efforts would have to be approved by both the DoD (Air Force) and all land use control agencies (the counties and effected cities) — before the DoD could positively recommend to Congress that flight operations could be expanded.

  10. Bronco Fan 93
    Feb 13, 2010, 6:20 pm

    If it matters, I live in Meridian. It wouldn’t bother me a bit to have these awesome machines flying over my house every day.

    The noise from the F-35 can’t be any worse than that of the F-4, which Gowen Field housed for 20+ years. If it bothers you, maybe you shouldn’t have chosen a house in an area where it is a concern. I’m sure the airport was there long before your house. Live with it.

    Jet Noise – It’s the Sound of Freedom!!

  11. Read this weeks copy of TIME Magazine with Robert Gates on the cover and the cover story. He is calling BS on junk that does not protect the grunts on the ground. He has fined Lockheed-Martin over $600MM for cost over-runs on the project and fired the military brass in charge of the program. I am sure we will have the plane but he has put more emphasis on RAPTORS and PREDATORS the need for manned aircraft may have seen its day as a combat tool.

    The flyboys at the Air Force know their collective days are numbered and Mr. Gates is putting the resources out there for the guys on the ground.

    F-35 may be a very small contingent of planes when all is said and done.

  12. That’s the point: The noise is twice as bad as our beloved stovepipe from years ago. Read the article. It may not bother you still, but your home values will drop even more than what the political fools have done to it.

    I make jet noise responsibly. I know it will damage quality of life and value of your home if I don’t. The USAF should be smart enough not to put this particular noise maker here. The F-15 last summer was a test run to see if we would put up with it. The value added in having the base here is less than the loss from the noise. MHAFB is less than 1 hour drive door to door. Boise will get a boost from the F-35 based there just like we always have before.

  13. Good. Might slow growth.

  14. Return of the Commie Fighters
    Feb 14, 2010, 3:50 pm

    I take air superiority seriously. However, we now establish air superiority BEFORE we send fighter aircraft in, as opposed to doing it BY sending in fighter aircraft. This mutt is so expensive that we can’t afford to send it any place it might actually get shot at.

    It will never get used against 1st world nations because they all have nukes, and we talk to them rather than fight. We don’t need it against 2nd and 3rd world countries because, after the drones, the appache’s and the stealths eliminate their air defenses, piper cubs can be flown safely in their air space.

    As for basing some F35s here for access to local training ranges, give up. That is what Iraq and Afghanistan, or other contrived quagmires of the moment are, training ranges.

    Like I said earlier, about the only thing more stupid than building this plane at all, is basing a bunch of them at Gowen Field.

  15. Whether or not this platform is needed is a subject open to debate. However, most of you are missing the point. If you have a training area(which we do), the “opposition” aircraft are not based at the same facility as the trainees. If implemented, which is doubtful at this time, we would rarely see, or hear F35’s here at Gowen. The “opposition” would be based here. By the way Return, you should try to make the sarcasm a “titch” more evident. Some here may actually think you are that crazy to make such statements!

  16. Return of the Commie Fighters
    Feb 15, 2010, 7:41 am

    Cyclops, try to keep up. There is no “opposition” in a military sense. That ended in vietnam. The dog fighting fighter planes went the way of the stinger, the sam, and a variety of other rockets. Now they are just expensive bling to hand out to congressmen who have spending power. The military doesn’t need them in a tactical sense. And, we shouldn’t want them in a financial sense.

  17. The US Military is something Idaho and Idahoans alike should be proud to support. I grew up around bases my whole life (outside of Idaho) and within a mile of the Blue Angels–they practiced regularly above our home and my schools. It was neither intrusive nor some horrible noise going on all day, every day. I find lawn mowers and those gas-powered scooters kids ride louder in a quiet neighborhood than jets.
    The F-35 will not only bring military, it will bring civilian jobs as well. All of those people will buy our products, buy homes and contribute to the tax base.
    Sometimes we must look beyond our own ears to see the benefit to our economy, employment, military and Idaho.

  18. I stand corrected Return. You are that crazy!!

  19. Casual Observer
    Feb 15, 2010, 5:50 pm

    Return has a point. For all the armament we threw at the Iraqis, the single most effective thing we did was the Surge. Not the surge in manpower, but rather the surge in dollar bills we paid the insurgents to quit shooting at us.

    Instead of dropping a $150 Million a pop for the f35, we could take the amount of money that about three or four of the plane’s cost and more effectively buy about 3 years of peace in Afghanistan. That would also avoid all the dead innocent civilians that motivate ever more al Quaeda.

  20. Bronco 93, what the hell does being a liberal have to do with supporting a military program. Your statement is stupid. Currently I have a granddaughter and a nephew in the U.S. Army. You might as well be a vandal and by the way my other handle is solidbsu.

  21. Concern_in_Boise
    Feb 18, 2010, 11:25 pm

    I just heard about the F-35’s on Fox12. I am still in a sigh of relief that the F-15’s are gone. I work from home and spend a majority of my day on work phone calls. The normal hum and drum of the airport is not a hindrance, but this last summer when the F-15’s were in town was difficult for me. Due to the noise I would have to explain to clients that the Oregon Air Force was in town for the summer and try to avoid taking any phone calls during many loud periods of the day. The F15’s were so loud that many times I would have to end calls and call clients back after the noise had subdued.

    Now, Fox12 reports that the F-35’s are twice as loud!!! According to ( ), the F-35 is even louder coming in for a landing, and is Four times as loud as the F15C when it lands!!! I did not voice my concerns before, because I thought the F-15’s and noise would leave in the fall and not return. Myself, and others who telecommute or run businesses from home or commercial zoned areas in South Boise will be impacted by the noise produced by these aircraft. I am afraid that I will have to move if the F-35’s come to Boise. I hope the F-35’s don’t force me and others to resort to moving and take monetary losses in this bad housing market.

  22. Return, you are killing me. Your comments are //Derived from: Multiple wikipedia articles. You should have a job in Homeland Security. You’re the Man.

    Bronco 93, glad to see someone making comments out of sheer common sense. I totally agree. The Double Ugly was a loud jet. So Bring it on F-35 I love me some JET NOISE!

    And finally to Jimtheafl, congratualtions. You are now “That Guy.” The one that has to pronounce his “I’m liberal but still pro-military” stature by saying “I am related to people that are in the military.” Go get one of those cute bumper stickers that say ‘Proud grandfather/uncle of people in the Army.’

  23. V. Patterson
    Apr 12, 2010, 4:44 pm

    The Boise Airport has a handout that shows a “footprint” that includes the airport as well as the surrounding area that is designated as “not suitable for residential use”. However, it only shows the perpendicular roads such as Cole Road and Broadway. No cross streets are shown and according to Matt Petaja,Deputy Director of the airport, there is no map to show which streets these are and how far out the lines go. The public has the right to see if their homes fall within the “not suitable for residential use”. Why hasn’t the Air Force developed a map? What are they trying to hide? How can an educated decision be made with no idea how much of the population will be affected. Why won’t the air force agree to bring a F35 to Boise and fly it for a week? Let them prove the F35 won’t have an extremely negative affect on thousands of citizens, schools, sports,entertainment etc.

  24. There seems to be a bit of ignorance as to the mission of the F-35 in these comments. The F-35 is not an air superiority fighter, it is a multi-role fighter. It is intended as an F-16 and A-10 replacement. An F-35 is primarily intended as performing close air support, suppression of enemy air defense, precision bombing, etc. It is capable of performing in an air to air role and has a requirement of being at least as maneuverable as an F-16, an aircraft originally intended as a “dogfighter.”

    Though it may seem at times that our military is stuck in the past, military planners try to plan for conflicts of the future. The F-35 can certainly be employed in conflicts such as Iraq or Afghanistan, and will likely be just as effective, if not more so, as the F-16 and F/A-18. These types of conflicts are likely to be our primary engagements in the next quarter century and the F-35 needs to be able to meet the types of missions these conflicts would generate.

    It would be foolish, in my opinion, to believe that such conflicts are the only future. The United States is losing its global dominance; not, necessarily, from a decline in our own power, but instead from the rise in the relative power of several other nations. The world is becoming multi-polar and not all of those powers will be friendly towards us. China and India are certainly on the rise, and we could be drawn into conflicts involving either country. Europe, Turkey, Russia, and Brazil are also emerging powers which could be large (or larger in the case of Europe) world players within the next 50 years.

    Though our military is capable of handling conflicts with these nations currently, we would likely be unable to do so in a conflict 25 years from now if we continue to use current equipment. China and India both operate variations of the SU-30, a plane that is at least as capable as our current assets with the exception of the F-22. China and India are also likely to have stealth fighters of their own within the next 25 to 50 years. Today we dominate in terms of technology, assets, and training. Yet if we let our technology and assets lapse, training alone will not make up for the shortcomings, especially if other nations train their pilots as well as we do. To ensure that we can win the conflicts of the future we must continue to dominate in the areas of training, assets, and technology; the F-35 is part of that dominance.

    As to the noise problem should the F-35 come to Boise, there are ways to mitigate it. The current Boise airport master plan calls for the construction of a third runway south of the airport by 2025. Currently a small runway, used as a helicopter assault strip by the Army National Guard, occupies the space. Should the Air Force decide to station a training wing at Boise this runway could be used as their primary runway. The area surrounding the runway, and to the south, is sparsely populated currently. Departing flights could turn south immediately after takeoff. As long as Ada county allows no residential or commercial development to the south, the noise impact on Boise and surrounding communities would be minimal.

    The Air Force has not conducted studies yet for many reasons, they are not trying to hide anything. The Air Force has not brought the F-35 to Boise to see how it would impact the population because the F-35 is currently in its development and flight test phase. I would imagine that no spare air frames are available for such a mission. The F-35 has not yet reached production, has not been introduced into active service, and the Air Force has not reached the point of deciding where all of the F-35 training bases will be. When the time comes for deciding if the F-35 will have a training base in Boise, the Air Force and Ada county will conduct all the necessary surveys, including noise impact on the surrounding community.

    Also, I tend to be left of center on most issues and pretty liberal on certain issues. Return of the Commie Fighters statements are certainly not characteristic of the liberal mindset, although much of this post was directed at him.

  25. Be aware that when the “Avigation” Easements are passed out, there will be pitiful and puny offers for your easements. The easements give the Government your property rights. The value of your properties will plummet due to the noise factors and tree removal for your “Safety”. When the trees are removed, the noise worsens and the possibility of crashes into homes seems to increase instead. The easements allow the Military to fly whatever type of aircraft they want to, whenever they want to and however they want to. I can personally attest to rude awakenings in the middle of the night, aircraft landing gear over my roof and friends throwing themselves down in my yard screaming because they thought the plane was crashing and they were going to die. Oh yes, I forgot to mention hearing loss as well as other diseases and illnesses that are more prevalent and appear to be worsened by the NOISE. Make sure you go to the Public Meetings to fight the incompatible noise. We never had any meetings – the government just stomped all over us AND the Fair Oaks Elementary School which houses alot of minority children which is blantant discrimination.

  26. F-35’s are now in production at Lockheed Martin in Marietta Georgia. Get ready for MORE NOISE.

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