City Government

State Rep Asks Airport to Reject Noise Study

While he doesn’t seem to endorse the common sense solution of not basing noisy F-15 and F-35 combat fighters at Boise’s Gowen Field, Idaho State Rep. John Gannon of district 17A has asked the Boise airport director to reject a noise study which potentially could cost nearly $100 million if implemented.

Gannon was critical of the public hearing process and lack of notification to him and other citizens when a noise impact survey was conducted prior to September 23. His letter: Gannon re Noise Study.

VISTA NEIGHBORS held their own meeting Sept. 23 and the 80 attendees were not happy with plans to base noisy fighters at Gowen.

Boise’s airport will hold another public meeting Wednesday Dec. 9 at the terminal building 5:30 p.m. Here is a LINK to their announcement. Parking will be validated for free. Note to legacy media: this is worth covering as it involves millions of dollars and potential to displace as many as 200 homeowners.

The GUARDIAN will not be able to attend due to a prior commitment, so we would appreciate any citizen reports and photos. Send them to the CONTACT button at above right on this page.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. How short are people’s memories? When I was growing up in the neighborhood beside the Edwards theater, the Guard had F-4 Phamtoms! Big, noisy and flying off of the same runways. We all survived those so why not the new ones?

  2. No Jet Noise!
    Dec 7, 2015, 1:23 pm

    Darwin, Hope this helps you understand.

    This is about money into city coffers, just like the foothills build-out which got rubber-stamped last week. Our airport is horribly overbuilt and has crisis low passenger and freight counts. Weeds and gophers from lack of use are their biggest problems. They are in danger of losing the huge flow of federal money if they can’t show the money is well spent on an important busy airport.

    The F-35 makes more noise than the F-4 series, and a lot more noise than the F-15 series. The people living in traditional air force towns where it is already based have sued the air force because it is substantially noisier.

    All the NATO forces train mostly at night. So aircraft based at Boise will fly mostly at night. Missions will often be flown by visiting squadrons from all over the world who will be rotating through Boise because of the nearby training ranges. MHAFB is the northernmost element in a chain of bases which train over the Nevada deserts. This means non-stop usage unlike the weekend gentlemen’s squadron of old. So, those homes, schools, churches, businesses within 5 to 8 miles of the Boise airport will have 24/7 military jet noise which is louder than the RF-4C and F-4G of old. The noise will peak in the darkness.

    Also, a very important factor is the air pollution which will be dumped into our local airshed. We obviously have an air quality problem already. Just one military fighter-type aircraft burns ~150-300 gallons of fuel from start up to the end of the takeoff run. There are no pollution scrubbers. The US military is the largest consumer of petroleum products on Earth. Strangely our mayor Bieter wants me to use an electric lawnmower because of our dangerous air quality problems, but he’s cool with the military burning 100,000 gallons a day at the airport.

    Why they don’t like Mountain Home AFB any longer even though it’s less than 30 flight miles from Boise is, Mountain Home does not look as good on the travel brochure, and therefore is not helpful for pilot retention. At this time many of the officers and enlisted families live in Boise and commute to MHAFB daily.

    I support a quiet aircraft based at Boise and or a much improved transit system to MHAFB in support of the families who live in the Boise metro area. The good news is the A-10 (which is quiet) is our most effective tallywacker killer. Once we are free from Obama it will probably be extended until the desert police actions are settled. It’s cheap and effective, unlike all the newer toys.

    EDITOR NOTE–We still find it absurd that pilots will gladly lay their lives on the line, deploy to the mideast for months at a time, but don’t want to go to Mt. Home for training. Truth be told, a fighter jock would go ANYWHERE for the chance to pilot the gas guzzler supersonic jets. They don’t have as much love for a C-130, C-17, or supporting acts.

  3. Eagle Writer
    Dec 7, 2015, 1:39 pm

    Darwin, I agree. I lived near the (now) Flying Y, and they were fun to watch. The noise is simply the sound of freedom.

    Let’s save the $100 million and just welcome them.

  4. It amazes me, given all the hawkish, self-proclaimed patriots here, how many get upset when it comes to sharing some of the civilian burden of military preparedness.

    Gowen’s National Guard mission is training. The occasional placement of MHAFB jets here have had a different mission, often preparing to deploy overseas, combat ready.

    “No Jet Noise’s” post is riddled with misinformatin about Gowen’s mission and its impacts.

    Of course, guys (and gals) in the air national guard, usually fully employed in other jobs, are not gonna want to drive to Mountain Home; and whole crews (not just pilots) are involved.

  5. The pilots probably live in Boise because their families don’t like the noise of the Jets either.These jets are way, way louder than anything we’ve ever had in the Boise area.If you want them here and live in the Hillcrest Kasia area you’d better sell your house now And get out while you can Because your house will not be worth anything if they come. And another point is that Boise
    will not be a desirable place to live Once they come. So it will not in the long run Save or make us money. Businesses will lose money. Boise will show up on different travel is as The loudest place in the United States to live. So do you think that we will have people moving here if so?

  6. Since Sept 2, F-35s are operating at Hill AFB. In the middle of beautiful Ogden, UT.
    Let’s see how the residents respond there after a few months of operations.

    Better yet, NJN could go down there and sit at end of their run way and count sorties for a Wednesday- see if it’s really 24/7 jet noise including all hours of the night. Video evidence of course…

  7. Before A10s, Gowen hosted F-4s, which are noisier than the F-15s; residents have been exposed to the noise being predicted if the mission were to change.

    The Air National Guard missions require minimal flights per day (most often 12 total, in two rounds of six).

  8. I am retired and pour my money into the local economy, but that is about to change. I am selling my home. This stupid, totally insane idea of flying the loudest jets on the planet out of a huge city at night makes me think people here have lost their collective minds. My new home will not be in Boise, and not be anywhere near an airport. Kiss my retirement $$ goodbye Boise. I hope folks wake up here eventually and go after the politicians who “welcome the jets” with pitchforks and torches.

  9. It is not clear to me what the rejecting the noise study will do, will it not allow the F-35’s in Boise, or does it remove the City’s liability to compensate impacted property owners? Thanks in advance to anyone who can help me understand.

    EDITOR NOTE–We THINK the rules are that there will be no F-35 or F-15 unless the noise issue is solved. Currently the “solution” if to either buy out the affected homes or offer “mitigation,” in the form of easements, insulation, new windows, etc.

  10. John Gannon
    Dec 8, 2015, 10:40 am

    The Boise Airport is asking the FAA to approve their mitigation plan for noise. That plan is as the editor describes. The Noise Study says 327 homes will be in the 65 decibel “incompatible” category if a squadron of F 35’s arrive and the mitigation in “LU-9” is to buy them. No cost estimates but 327 x $150-$200 thousand is around $55 million. Of course the homes need to be demolished or moved and pipes and sidewalks removed etc. I would think. Some question whether this figure of 327 is too low so there will be lawsuits. There is the third runway proposal which costs $60 million just for military use. BUT this idea is not even mentioned or analyzed. Would this work? I don’t know. If it won’t how does the economic devastation to the Bench compare to having the Air Guard train at an Air Force Base? I haven’t seen that analysis. So the Noise Study should seek FAA approval after a FULL and COMPLETE public involvement and plenty of discussion.

  11. No Jet Noise!
    Dec 8, 2015, 11:48 am

    rabula, I know what I’m talking about. Read what I wrote again and tell me specifically what parts are wrong.

    Editor, Working for Obama’s Whitehouse micro managers and with top brass getting fired all the time, plus airlines desperate for pilots. Keep in mind the most powerful person in a fighter jock’s life is his wife, and she wants to live in Eagle Star Meridian.

    Eastie, Hill AFB only has two or three F-35 aircraft so far, still mostly F-16s, and will receive an additional one every few weeks until they have 70+. Will be a long time before they are action ready F-35 squadrons. Meanwhile, they’ve operated the noisy F-16 for decades, so it won’t be a big change for Ogden as it would be for Boise. F-16 is slightly more noise than F-15 (because of only one engine at full burner for a few seconds rather than the reduced power t/o often used by F-15) There is in fact a noticeable difference and louder sound from F-35 vs. F-16, so says the Air Force and Navy.

    Yep, we used to have F-4s in Boise 20 years ago, and every truck passing through had open pipes and a Jake-Brake too. In 20 years we’ve come to enjoy our progress and quiet. MHAFB is a 40 minute drive or 5 minute flight. So, this is about Bieter, the federal airport money, and associated money grubbing friends. Our land values and quality of life be damned. Absolutely no reason they can’t base one a dozen quiet types in Boise and keep the dragons in MHAFB. It’s just a battle of wills over your rights with a communist liberal. Beware, the other team is led by a professional liar, and he’s proud of it.

  12. No Jet Noise!
    Dec 8, 2015, 12:05 pm

    Addendum: Boise City has recently annexed land to the SW of the airport on the east side of south Cole rd. They are now holding meetings to plan the build out. Kind of stupid considering these homes will be directly under the departure path of aircraft heading to the training range.

    EDITOR NOTE–And they will be close to the third runway if it is ever built!

  13. I say this in jest, but there is some truth to it, if we are so concerned about sparing a squadron of pilots and crew the “displeasure” of living in mountain home, putting the $100M into transit improvements on the existing rail tracks between Caldwell and Mountain Home might make for a benefit we could all use, and such transit might get those pilots and crew from their homes in Boise to Mountain Home in a quick and convenient manner.

    Boise gets the economic impact of pilots, crew and family living and recreating in Boise and the whole valley gets the benefit of rail transit, especially all those living in Canyon County but working in Boise.

    There has to be a better solution than demolishing hundreds of homes.

    EDITOR NOTE–JJ, you speak of “the $100 million” as though it exists and the only question is where to spend it! The true solution would be to simply have the USAF run a couple of buses between Mt. Home and Gowen. INEL has done that for more than 50 years between Arco, Pocatello, and Idaho Falls. Proven technology!

  14. Jet Noise… I worked F15s for awhile… never saw on take off at “reduced” power Put’em both to the wall and turn’n burn baby…

    Jet noise is the sound of freedom… love it or leave… I guess people like you think those “low life GI’s at Mtn Home don’t deserve any quiet.. that’s all reserved for the chosen few…

    How about you civilians make a little sacrifice for once and not depend on “those people” to do everything for you.

  15. Ah, the old sound of freedom nonsense.

    The sound of freedom is the silence of our 14 Trident subs and the mother country’s 4 Trident subs.

    Thread over.

    Thread reopened. Fighter jets are a relic legacy. Drones are where it’s at.

    Now the thread is over.

  16. I live in Meridian near Cherry and Linder. Happen to be pretty much right under a regular approach for all kind of aircraft. The commercial bigs come in so low sometimes I think I recognize the pilot. Fighters ? yea, so low and slow they have to power up to make it to boise…. If they flew like that in enemy territory they would last about 3 seconds so tell me why they need to fly like that right over peoples homes… There is no reason for it at all. They should be coming in higher and dropping later. One brother at Gowen, another brother who is a fighter pilot and plenty of friends including some who carpool from meridian to MH… The sound of freedom ? not for everyone Richardhead. Many people suffer from maladies where even simple fireworks can cause trauma. Combat vets would prefer quiet as well. For many it’s the sound of hell. I’ve lived and worked hundreds of yards from a navy base more than once. If I wanted to live next to a navy base I would move next to a navy base. Instead I’m in Meridian which has gone to hell in the last 20 years so maybe it’s just me.

  17. Eagle Writer
    Dec 9, 2015, 3:04 pm


    It’s good to know what all combat vets would prefer…, that Gowen pilots don’t know how to fly, and that Meridian has “gone to hell.”

    Interestingly, Meridian was recently recognized as the #1 most liveable city in the U.S.

  18. chicago sam
    Dec 9, 2015, 5:22 pm

    Not really my fight but traveling thru Boise on the Interstate this morning I couldn’t help but notice the miles of concrete walls on the North side of the Interstate and I think they are built for one reason–noise suppression for the houses nearby.
    We lived many years next to a spot in the road where there was a one inch bump and countless times in the nite I was jolted wide awake when an empty truck hit the depression.
    Sounds of freedom?–firecrackers, thunderclaps, screaming jet engines? It has nothing to do with it –It is respect for your neighbor and allowing him to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet.

  19. john… I for one hope some F15 jock gets an idea where you live and decides t6o fly like he would in combat right over your house. You’ve lived and worked near a navy base.. musta been pretty quiet… navy jets are notorious for being under powered and under maintained… As to the sound of freedom the day after you and relic do one thing for this country talk to me about what the military should be doing… as of right now I know on thing for sure… neither of you have a clue about how the military operates and what they should or should not be doing. You sir are the moron who bought a house under the flight path into and out of an airport… quit crying and suck it up. If you don’t like the SOUND of FREEDOM I am sure that you can get a nice piece of property in Iraq or Syria. Now cynic the thread can be over…

  20. Much of this discussion seems to confuse the Idaho ANG personnel & mission with those of the USAF.

    The Idaho ANG have been flying military aircraft at Gowen since 1946—from WWII Mustangs & Sabre jets in the ’40s & ’50s to A-10s & C-130s today, none of them exactly quiet machines.

    If we insist on trying to solve the world’s & our own problems with military might, I kinda like the idea of making it as convenient as possible for citizen soldiers to live normally among us & as comfortably as possible when they’re “off duty.” I’ll handle a little extra noise so they can be ready.

  21. The jet noise meeting tonight at the airport was 30 to 1 REJECTING THE F-15 & F-35 as being too loud to be allowed to fly in Boise.
    Unless we live in an entirely phony political system, tonight’s meeting should mean the people have spoken, and our representatives will do our bidding and reject the loud jets too.

  22. No Jet Noise!
    Dec 9, 2015, 11:26 pm

    rabula, respect for your comment, however I think the ANG “mission” can/will change very quickly. You may recall just a short time ago our Mayor and Governor and full Congressional contingent were doing their best to bring a 72 aircraft F-35A training squadron to Boise. That would be 24/7 noise. It went to Luke AFB instead. Try try again they will!

    john, totally get it man. Meridian is actually one of the best places to live, but under the ILS approach course is not their best real estate. FYI: All pilots need to practice instrument approaches in good weather. This means even fighter craft will sometimes fly the same approach to an airport as the airliners do. (You may recall an A-10 cratered near meridian 1/20/2002. The pilot was conducting such an approach to Boise airport.) Practice in good weather is needed for the times when the visibility is very low. The approach slope for these approaches is very gentle for safety reasons because a steep approach in low visibility is too difficult to judge and will often result in a crash. Also, these same approach corridors are used in good weather by ATC to avoid collisions.

    john, Fighter aircraft have very noisy engines and terrible glide characteristics, so fighter aircraft conducting a gently sloping landing approach will be using a fair amount of power, thus generating a lot of noise. Alternatively, if you can watch when they make a close in tight visual landing approach, the angle is much steeper and they are much quieter than your correct observations near your house. Occasionally one can observe a high-speed penetration approach at Boise which is intended to avoid ground fire. The wingman remains in position aloft to gun any bad guys shooting at the first planes in.

    rick, your instability is showing. The sound of freedom is the money leaving our bank accounts to pay for all these toys. I for one know they have many options aside from shaking the ground under my house at night. Our mayor and friends just don’t care.

  23. Typical. Idaho thought process includes things like wanting freedom, but not wanting to hear or see the tools to have it. Wanting “rights” but quickly give them away to feel safe (even for a short while). Putting “buy it local” stickers on foreign vehicles. And my favorite, saying “coexist” but yet, not willing to coexist with anyone else.
    I say bring the jets. If you sissy pants people think that is too much, I dare you to spend even HALF the amount of time I did serving this country. Then, and only then do you really have a voice in the matter.

  24. My understanding of this whole deal is that Team Dave (not the editor) wants F35’s stationed at Gowen to train pilots. Is that correct?

    If it is I am against it, not for the noise. I am against it simply for the reason that active duty individuals should not be trained by National Guard instructors. There is a vast difference in how the guard and the real military are setup and ran and I would be afraid that the pilots would be trained to guard standards which do not rise to the level of active duty.

    As to the noise individuals who bought or built in the flight path of the airport have absolutely no reason to complain and should have no say in the decision. You bought there pull up your big people pants and make better decisions about where to live.

    As to the citizen solider comment, every member of the military is a citizen. This special status that the weekend warriors seem to think they deserve is a slap in the face to individuals who live the military every day

  25. I don’t get the need for fighter planes. When was the last time dog-fights in the air were used?

    We have drones that are much more precise and don’t put pilots at risk. I do think we need to keep the big transport aircraft to deliver manpower and support equipment where it is needed.

  26. flyhead…. it is obvious you have no military experience… When was the last time a nuke was used… guess we don’t need them… when was the last time a sub was used in a war… guess we don’t need them… when was the last time your car insurance was used… guess you don’t need it..
    The AF tried what you are suggesting when they took the gun off of fighters… they found out real quick just how big a mistake that was…. thankfully some people can look at history and see the mistakes that were made and not repeat them…getting rid of fighters like you seem to be proposing would be a very very bad idea…

  27. Where were all the mythical lovers of jet noise last night? Seems like they only exist in cyberspace… Military psyops?
    The CORPORATE MEDIA was MIA last night to cover this hugely important meeting, except for this one pathetic piece of trash by KBOI, which makes it seem like the sentiment was 50/50…
    The ‘corporate media’ is in cahoots with our cheap whore politicians (who were also all MIA last night) set on destroying our “most liveable city” with insanely loud military jet night flights.
    Destroy hundreds of our homes to bring loud jets to Boise? Screw that! How about we bulldoze the whole airport complex and let them build another one ten or twenty miles out in the desert. Or.., just send all the loud jets to Mountain Home where they belong.
    One person pointed out last night that even Mountain Home has a ten mile buffer zone around their runway!

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