City Government

Writer Claims Airport Study “Manipulated”

The following story is by a longtime well known opponent of the Boise Airport plans to locate the F-35 combat fighter in the most densely populated city in Idaho. Other GUARDIAN readers attending the Wednesday meeting claim comments were 30 to 1 against the F-35 plan.


The 2015 Boise Airport Noise Study, just completed and being readied for submission to the FAA for final approval, has been intentionally manipulated to mislead the public about the number of residents and homes to be reclassified as “Not Suitable for Residential Use” if 18 F-35s are brought to Boise.

After the final study public comment meeting Wednesday at the Boise airport, the Deputy Director of Airport Engineering confirmed the portion of the study modeling the location of 18 F-35 jet aircraft assumes no F-35 afterburner use.

This is simply not the case. According to the Air Force’s very own reports, F-35s employ afterburners 90 to 95% of the time. This is confirmed by the afterburner use patterns of the 18 F-35s now stationed and operating in Burlington, Vermont. A Navy Captain being interviewed by the Burlington Free Press stated, “ The reason, it gives us more options if something goes wrong.” He said using afterburners was a practice that pilots would follow once the planes go into full production. Asked if the Vermont Air Guard would routinely use afterburners, he replied, “I think that would be a fair statement.”

In addition, a recent F-35 redesign to allow external wing tanks will only increase the requirement to use afterburners due to increased rag and weight. This intentional understating of the F-35 intensity at the Boise airport results in shrinking the boundaries of the “Not Suitable for Use” zone by 75%.

The 2104 residents and 964 homes that were identified as “Not Suitable for Residential Use” in the 2012 Air Force Environmental Impact Study is therefore reduced to 577 residents and 217 homes. So 1,527 residents and 747 homes would exist in an unacknowledged “Not Suitable for Residential Use” limbo, suffering the effects of jet noise without any access to any recognition or mitigation options.

Why would anyone knowingly consign over 1,500 Boise citizens to this “Limbo Purgatory”? Our State Senators, Congressmen, Governor, and Mayor are desperate to attain the F-35 prize for our fair city. And they appear more than willing to do whatever they can to minimize or hide any negative information regarding the F-35 noise impact.

Two motives are driving the efforts to obscure the true impact of 18 F-35s at the Boise Airport. The first is to avoid the public outcry that will result if it becomes known before the jets arrive that most of the homes, schools, parks, day care centers, churches, etc, south of Overland will be subject to noise levels never before experienced in Boise. The political game plan is to acquire the jets first and address the collateral damage later.

The second motive is cost. Investigations done as part of the Airport study confirm that the only effective land use mitigation for homes in the “Not suitable For Residential Use” zone are purchase and removal. Estimates in the study for this are approximately $230,000 per residence. 217 residences would therefore cost around $50 million dollars. But 964 homes would cost over $220 million. This is a lot, even for our politicians to ante up.

The dirty little secret of the process the Airport is following is that once the study results are accepted by the FAA, there is never a requirement that the true noise levels be measured. The study becomes truth, even if it is based on lies and manipulation. It is therefore absolutely imperative that the Airport Part 150 study be exposed for the fraud that is and rejected by the FAA. Then the Airport can begin again and do so with honesty and integrity this time.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Intentionally manipulated? By Idaho government officials??

    I’m a Priest Laker who got more than manipulated by Idaho Government so I would say what’s going on here is the norm.

    Protect yourself if you can but my guess is that jets will fly in Boise.

  2. Thanks Monty! The stench wafting off this rotten deal is sickening. Dave Bieter and Butch Otter are quite literally committing TREASON in their support of these jets. They are going against every campaign promise and the will of the citizens of Boise, and the Treasure Valley.
    Many people who spoke at the final public meeting lived up to 10 miles away from the airport and were horrified at the F-15 noise this summer.
    The lack of honest local media coverage of this very important situation shows how deep the corruption runs.
    There was not a single citizen at the meeting called by citizens a month ago who supported the jets, and only one out of 30 or more who spoke at the final meeting. The Boise Gaurdian is the only media source in the whole valley with the journalistic integrity to let the truth be known.

  3. Bill Goodnight
    Dec 11, 2015, 10:08 am

    We in the East end would like to welcome South Boise residents to the world of power politics.

    Logic aside, the power brokers would vacate your homes along with Jefferson Street.

  4. No Jet Noise!
    Dec 11, 2015, 1:22 pm

    Use the NextDoor online social program to organize residents. Door to door is needed too. The local people are a bunch of pussies so you need to keep their participation somewhat private. Go to the neighborhoods south and west of the airport and get their attention too, they are larger in numbers than the Overland Bench. Keep in mind one of the reasons why so many residents are pussies is the LDS church is in favor of letting ANG do whatever they want. LDS also controls most of the homeowner associations. So you must go directly to the resident (and owners if a rental) with useful accurate information and an helpful explanation of how they can resist Bieter’s plans to destroy their property value.

    Also find a good lawyer to file an injunction, and then go on the offense. Also go directly to the FAA and explain the intentional omissions and misleading information.

    Make the assumption that the politicos are against you, because they are. The politico that owns large tracts on land south of the airport has arranged to quickly build thousands of homes before it gets too noisy and drops the value of his land.

  5. It gets back to the same thing, buyer beware. After living close to the airport for twenty years, I know about noise. That’s why our next home (current) was away from the airport (Warm Springs Mesa). Funny, we have more noise now than when we lived near the airport. The airport has been there long before people started living near it, so people with ANY common sense would think about the noise.

    Also, I’ll take a buy out to get me away from the noise. Makes sense right?


  6. Eagle Writer
    Dec 11, 2015, 6:10 pm

    It is good when concerned citizens show up and speak their piece. However, 30, or 50 or however many in the room does not make a majority. Pols can often receive dozens or even hundreds of emails and phone calls for every person who speaks at a meeting. There is the majority.

    Taking the other side’s attorney to lunch is often more productive than speaking at a meeting. Just sayin’.

  7. they use burner 90 to 95& of the time… that is one of the stupidest things I have read on this blog so far. According to what I could find fuel flow for the F35 in burner is 86K per hour. With a reported max take off weight of 60K and I would guess 30 to 35K of that being fuel if they are in burner 95% of the time their max flight time would be about 20 minutes. 86k of fuel flow per hour and 30k pounds of available fuel. Just saying both sides in this argument are lying out their ass.

    EDITOR NOTE–Rick, take your finger off the trigger and give your fellow reader a break. The guy was saying the F-35 uses afterburner 95% of the time FOR TAKEOFF.

  8. So now it’s the Mormons’ fault? I didn’t see that little gem coming.

  9. No Jet Noise – I know the people that run most of the Boise Homeowners groups – they are not LDS. I live in the Vista area and the LDS do not run the National Guard – nor is the National Guard of the State run by the LDS. I personally know both groups.

  10. Mesa Man – We who live close to the airport think about it too much. Many of us fought against insanely loud jets just 3 years ago and thought we had won, but the politicians and their corporate masters never give up if there is money to be made, no matter who is harmed.

    Eagle Writer – The opinion of someone who lives 15 miles from the airport is irrelevant. Good for you for being rich and able to live wherever you want, but some of us are not so blessed.

    Erico49 – I have have Mormon friends and have attended their church services many times. Most of them are wonderful people, but their religion mandates belief in whatever their leaders say to believe. Critical thinking is punished.

  11. Not what he wrote Dave…and probably not what he said at the meeting… if your talking about takeoff the number would be 100% at least on every fighter I ever worked… EF111A, F111F, F15E, F16 no one does mil power take offs.

  12. Monty Mericle
    Dec 12, 2015, 6:31 pm

    Rick, I actually think we are both trying to say the same thing about the F-35s and all other high performance jets during takeoff. That is that they use afterburners almost all the time, which adds another 16 decibels to the F-35 loudness level. An increase of 6 decibels doubles the sound level, so the F-35 noise area map generated by the Airport is only a fraction as large as it should be. Intentional manipulation and misrepresentation by the Airport.

  13. Eagle Writer
    Dec 12, 2015, 10:12 pm

    J Smith, not sure I offered an opinion…but, and it’s just a tip, happiness in life comes from how you live not where you live.

    BTW, how far do Butch and Dave live from the airport? You seem to think their opinions matter.

    Bringing the planes, their pilots, crew, and families to the TV will be a boon to the valley.

  14. Rod in SE Boise
    Dec 13, 2015, 2:08 pm

    Yes, fighter/bomber jets similar to the F-35 use afterburners for takeoff. Once the landing gear are up, the burners go off.

    What are the chances anyone from city or state government will comment on Monty’s post? Zero. Our Mayor, City Councilpersons, and the Governator take vows of silence except when they ask for your vote.

  15. Monty here are the problems as I see them. First I do not think the guard should be training active duty pilots. The guard is a backup force. You wouldn’t want BSU’s second string teaching the starters… would you. Keep the second string (guard) doing their own thing and let the military train the military.

    As to the flap about the noise I say this. The people crying bought their houses near or under the flight path of the airport. Did they not expect changes in traffic patterns and noise levels? If they didn’t take that into consideration before they bought they were remiss in their due diligence. It should not be for the government to bail/buy them out. Nor should the workings of the airport be curtailed because of the bad choices of those who bought in the wrong place. What is going to happen if/when an airline wants to start flying bigger jets into BOI. Are we going to hear NO its too noisy?

    Put military jets on military bases. Let the professionals and those who understand the sacrifices it takes to keep the civilian world safe do their job unencumbered by the petty politics of a few cry babies.

  16. I would like to explore the motivations of those involved in the airport noise controversy.
    I have identified 4 main classifications.
    #1 – Those who suffer from the jet noise and find it unacceptable, which seems to include a much larger impact area than the ‘official studies’ indicate.
    #2 – Those who are going to be forcibly removed from their homes for whatever reimbursement the government offers.
    #3 – Those who salivate at the prospect of profiting at the expense of groups #1 & #2. These would involve people who stand to profit directly from bringing loud jets to Gowen Field, and politicians receiving bribes and promises of future benefits.
    #4 – Those who mistakenly believe that blindly supporting the government is somehow patriotic, when those considered by historians to be the greatest patriots where protecting the people from the government.

  17. Honestly I don’t.. I have on sympathy for those who built on Eagle Island either. Take just a bit of personal responsibility for the action in your life. I realize most in the foothills, Eagle Island, and mini micron ville are transplants and are used to not having to take personal responsibility but come on folks.

  18. No Jet Noise!
    Dec 14, 2015, 12:13 pm

    rick, dude, you are dated, and often wrong, all wrapped up in a strange misplaced patriotism like the guy at the ball game selling stale beer and rotten franks with a weathered flag wrapped around his head. You’re like the uncle at the wedding party with a 78 Chevy small-block telling me it’s got more power than a new Japanese Duramaxx turbo diesel.

    I appreciate your loyalty, but a different point of view for you:

    The single most important person in America is the guys and gals paying taxes, not the people spending taxes. Every war is won with the strength of the economy, not the cool toys and big testicles. WW-II was won with marginally trained farm boys using mass produced disposable weapons.

    Most people who served in the military then and now remember it as one of the most screwed-up and wasteful organizations they’ve ever encountered. In its history and continuing to the present day, much loss of life and sacrifice is due to leadership stupidity. Most folks are still trying to figure out what all that crap was injected into them by the med-tech at boot camp, and if it caused their health problems years later. The VA says no.

    Sorry, I cannot worship this organization. If they were a business, they’d be broke due to incompetence and failure to deliver a cost effective product. For example: Reading today they had multiple engine failure on a brand new patrol craft. Iron filings in the oil sumps of all engines. The problem identified five years and ten ships ago, but not yet resolved by the manufacturer. Navy still paying them to build new boats.

    BTW: Due to experience, maturity, and one foot in the reality of civilian life, National Guard and Reserve units often outperform Regular units. Ya see rick, one really learns how to fly when working for an airline, because cost considerations and passenger safety are high priority. Those guys also work for the Guard units and are the Top Gun winners.

    And did you know civilians serve in the field. Yep, flak jacket over lab coat. They travel with complex weapons systems to the field and at sea because Private Benjamin needs years of tutoring. So, the Navy did not shoot down that satellite after all, an aerospace engineer team did.

    Lastly rick, the author’s point is: The Boise airport misrepresents that the planes will depart without burners, and based the flawed study on this claim. The guy writing this post says its bull. You say its bull too. Congrats, you agree with the writer. Now put down that putrid American light-beer and relax.

  19. Eagle Writer
    Dec 14, 2015, 12:37 pm


    It’s a fair question. Sweeping grass fire threats in the foothills, long response times and maybe a volunteer fire department in the countryside, highway noise that just gets louder if you’re near the interstate, all locations come with creeping downsides.

    Our other (out of state) home is within a good 5 iron of the railroad, and sometimes at night they rattle, creak and bang us awake. We smile and enjoy – trains are cool. Then we go back to sleep.

    It’s not a lack of sympathy, but rather a different view on evolving communities. We are more likely to leave the TV if it becomes an immigrant haven that we are to noise. There are no assurances the community we joined and invested in will remain one where we wish to stay. Life is uncertain.

  20. Guardian, it’s not a matter of having sympathy, or not having sympathy.

    “Building more fire stations” for NEW houses going into the foothills is different than “the existing homeowners know the risk of future fires and the rest of us should not have to pay to protect their homes”.

    In any case, real estate can be a risky choice with an inherent moral hazard.
    Airport. Wildfires. Flooding. Vehicle traffic. BSU students/games. In-fill. Levies. Bad Neighbors. Etc.

    Perhaps a better analogy is the houses along the river.
    Spring floods? Bummer!

    Airport traffic changes; so does the river based on other developments, more asphalt, changes in the actual flood plain, weather, and budgets of agencies.

    Guardian, this is a quote from your post about Eagle flooding on 4/23/2006:

    “It is hard to generate much sympathy for owners of homes with three car garages, private fishing lakes, walking trails, club houses, and all kinds of private access to the river that many Idahoans consider a public asset for everyone to use. ”

    During the floods of 2006, the Guardian, asked (with a sarcastic tone?)
    “How about some sympathy for the guy in Eagle who ruined his new “Nordstrom Pants” while rescuing his Audi car?”

    In the same post:
    –Floods are good for the economy. The ACHD workers get overtime, repairmen get work, and landscapers have jobs.

    Let’s replace “floods” with “f-35”:
    -F-35s are good for the economy. The airport workers get overtime, contractors get work installing soundproofing in houses, and doctors will get more patients suffering from sleeplessness.

    River = Airport.
    Everything is relative.

  21. Boise State University used to be the airport (and a landfill and a swamp), but at some point the decision was made to relocate the airport, maybe we could assume as the airport grew, they sought a location more compatible with the growth of the City.

    When I fly into Denver, the airport is extremely far from town, obviously not the first airport, the preceding airport was close to Denver neighborhoods, it was moved for various reasons, I assume one of them was to find a location more compatible for City growth and neighbor issues. Denver reviewed alternative sites in the early 1980’s, and didn’t get it done until the mid 1990’s.

    My point is there seems to be a precedence that airports move away from the population as those airports grow more incompatible with the surrounding area, or as those airports need more room for growth. I actually think moving the Denver airport in 15 years is probably actually fast given the bureaucracy and investment needed.

    What will our airport needs be in 20, 30 or 50 years? Will the current location serve that growth? Before we double down on BOI and possibly need a hundred million to buy hundreds or thousands of homes, let’s look further out. Maybe another runway a few miles out for military and cargo makes sense, frees up more proximate terminals and runways for passenger flight growth.

  22. Yossarian_22
    Dec 14, 2015, 6:33 pm

    NoJetNoise….right on the mark man! I remember talking to some RF4C crews at airshows back when the ID ANG flew them. They used to refer to regular AF jets as hanger queens because of how poorly they were maintained. And yes, all ANG units get deployed along with reg military units.

    I’m afraid that the F-35 is a hanger queen that will spend a lot of time getting worked on, which will make it quiet enough, but then our pockets will be picked clean, or just more debt printed for our kids to pay later, just to have these things. Noise vs debt….neither a good choice.

  23. 90% of consultants are hired to appear scientific and nuetral, but to come to an agreed upon conclusion that supports the predisposition of those paying the consultant.

    When the facts support the client’s opinion, the job is easy. When the facts conflict with the desired outcome, the consultant must expand the study assumptions until the assumptions are broad enough to provide some justification.

    While unfortunate, what the neighbors really need to do is start their own GoFundMe account and fund their own noise study. Until the neighborhood fights studies with other studies, they will always be demoted to NIMBY whiners, they need facts and reports on their side. Or maybe their report will say F-35’s not really that bad????

  24. We had a noise study done that just concluded. It was a officially sponsored and ‘properly advertised’ public meeting.
    On the scale of noise from I can’t hear that, to I can’t tolerate it, we just determined that 30 residents of the area out of 31 think F-15’s are too loud, and there is no way we want something much louder screaming over our rooftops at midnight like the F-35’s.
    Despite the whining of those who would profit at our expense, we have said no to the evil plan.
    Emperor Otter and Darth Bieter need to consider the will of the people now unless they’ve given themselves completely over to the Dark Side.

  25. Monty Mericle
    Dec 15, 2015, 7:53 pm

    To Hell with studies that no one understands or are falsified to meet some official’s predetermined outcome. The only common sense “study” is to have the Air Force bring in a couple of the F-35s that are already stationed and flying out of Luke AFB in Arizona. Have them fly the patterns and schedules, with afterburners which is how they will take off. The Airport can issue a press release two weeks before the 2 or 3 day event. Then everyone can hear for themselves what the jets will sound like when they become our guests for about 20 years. We make everything so complicated when it can be so simple. But I am dreaming. The Air Force will send F-35s to air shows but they will NEVER allow them to come to areas being considered for permanent stationing before they have arrived and burrowed in to stay. Our Governor and Mayor will remain hiding under their desks and not stand up and ask for the real life test. Our brave Statesman and TV Channels 2, 6, 7 and 9 will cower and be afraid to incur the political wrath if they question our officials about why they do not support bringing in F-35s for a demonstration. And even if reporters do ask questions, they get the answers wrong. The last report on F-15 and F-35 noise I heard from Channel Nine news last week stated that the F-15 and F-35 jet noise level was about the same as what you hear from a vacuum cleaner!

  26. Vermont had the same issues with their city and state governments.

  27. Monty

    The story you mentioned about the vacuum cleaner rings true. I can remember many times when either myself or my wife would be vacuuming the carpet in base housing when we would turn off the vacuum we would hear F15’s launching That’s slang for what you sillyvillians call taking off)we couldn’t hear them when the vacuum was running…. and we lived within a mile of the run way.
    I wish Col Iverson would make Boise and the entire valley off limits since you all don’t want the noise AF makes how about you do without the money the AF brings in. It sure wont be the first time a town learned the hard way how much having a base frequent a town means just ask the mayor of Biloxi MS.

    I will to the cheers of most say sayonara to this blog. Take your best (albeit pathetic irrelevant shots)I have moved out of the area.. and as soon as my house sells will have no ties to what once was a nice area. Back in the day (mid 80s) it was not infested with whiners and crybabies. It was an area where there was no crime, drugs, or murders by cops. Unfortunately it has become just the opposite.

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