City Government

Airport Open House Crowd Turns Hostile

High performance fighter jets may sound like a wisper compared to the roar of angry citizens on the Boise Bench. Boise Airport manager Rebecca Hupp faced an angry crowd Wednesday evening as she attempted to present the latest “master plan” for the airport.

About 150 citizens packed the meeting room, expecting to have a talk about noisy fighter jets. Instead, they were shown Power Point slides more effective than Ambien sleep aid. She discussed planned meetings, outreach, studies, neighborhood meetings, and committees full of “users,” but no common homeowner-types like the entire audience.

The vast majority of the audience came to the meeting to protest any plans to base F-35, F-15 or other excessively noisy fighter jets at Gowen Field. A spokesman had told one citizen that airport officials had “no control” over the Air Force. Hupp herself avoided comment when it was noted the mayor and council have gone on record supporting the F-35.

huppManager Hupp clearly lost control of the meeting after telling the audience there was a lot of “disinformation out there” regarding condemnation of residential property. Their issue was only the basing of fighter jets, not the number of passengers carried or claimed figures about economic impact.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, all people want is a commitment from the politicos to join forces to prevent noisy fighter jets. Folks we talked to love the Air Guard, they want freedom, peace, motherhood, apple pie, and a flying mission. They DON’T want the noisy fighter planes racing around above the most densely populated area between Salt Lake and Seattle. These aircraft belong at Mountain Home.

When people complained about recent noisy F-18 fighters, Hupp said they had no control over transient military aircraft. She could easily have defused the situation by offering to speak with the military about noise abatement protocol. The Air Guard had already promised to alert visiting pilots about being quieter when flying into Boise.

Creating a master plan, noise study, and all the rest aimed at expansion and accommodation of fighter jets is diametrically opposite the mood of the people. That type of arrogance allowed Donald Trump to became president-elect…the entrenched elite failed to listen!

Comments & Discussion

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  1. The Meeting was a real joke most thought. In the outside hallway the people were talking about the jets noise but the people I spoke with were saying they did not mind the jets. They were there to get an answer as to what was going to happen to their property. They were there with maps in their hands depicting what areas the homes would be considered uninhabitable. The map was said to have came off the Plans website but she said no. In the end it appeared she has no idea about why the people were there just knew she had to explain the plan which had nothing to do with individuals there wanting an answer. In the end it was like it wasn’t their problem as the Air Guard, Air Force or Feds were/are the ones who have control. Guess we had the wrong people there giving the talk. The seven people I was with thought it was a waste of time.

  2. I wouldn’t say the crowd was hostile. We were frustrated with the corporate attitude Ms. Hupp presented. It was especially galling when she was asked about Mayor Beiter and the city council openly supporting the F35’s. She just blew it off. This woman knew what was happening and did nothing to diffuse the situation. She offered to give a phone number for noise complaints and never gave it out. I talked with Shawn (last name never given) and he gave me this cock and bull story about how the Military has to do an Environmental Impact Study on the noise of the F35’s. I was commenting on this to my husband and another man said the EIS had already been done. There is way too much misinformation being disseminated and our concerns are being completely ignored.

  3. Diane Wilson
    Nov 17, 2016, 6:14 am

    I too was confused by the master plan. I was informed Pryor to the meeting by Ms Hupp that all the information circulating was wrong and that this meeting was for internAL workings of the master plan and the airport. The next meeting scheduled in December again touted as not for us, but for users of the airport, such as vendors, and investors. Then at the 3rd meeting when alternatives to the master plan for expansion will be discussed may be the best time for us to come. She did confirm their ongoing support for f35 to be stationed here.
    I also did not get any answers to the questions about the masters plan an how it would impact existing neighborhoods and people. Only how it would bring big dollars to the city….

  4. You can bet your bippie that if the approach/departure patterns were over the north end and downtown, the city would not be pushing the F-35s. This is the key sentence: “She discussed planned meetings, outreach, studies, neighborhood meetings, and committees full of “users,” but no common homeowner-types like the entire audience.” As is the case with most meetings of this sort, the basic decisions have already been made. Public input is to tweak the details and let folks think that their opinion matters. That said, Boise elected this bunch, so….

  5. Very typical of Boise government and Mayor Bieter and his team. They create a plan they want and then find “data” they think backs it up and to h.ll with the citizens and neighbors. Expect much more of the same. It is going to get worse.

    The same thing is happening with the Ann Morrison park plan and the bus barn that we gave Tom Alquist.

    To those who voted for the mayor and council thanks for voting for a king and his kingdom builders! 🙁

  6. Bench Resident
    Nov 17, 2016, 8:47 am

    As you can see from the photo the meeting was full of senior citizens that do not know anything and are not as smart as Ms Hupp or Team Beiter. (sic)

  7. Please do not jump me here. I actually know very little about the details and am not a resident in direct conflict with the airport. But something sticks out in my mind that no one is saying. Where is the responsibility of the home owner?

    It seems odd to buy a home next to an airport and then complain about the noise. The airport was there long before the homes were. It is not like the buyers did not know it was there. And while the noise levels may have been ok when they bought the house, any reasonable person could think about the future as population grows, jets get bigger and the airport expands that it might become a future problem and not buy a home in that area.

    But like I said, I have no skin in the game so I am just airing a question that I am sure others are thinking as well.

    EDITOR NOTE–To put your argument in perspective. Should we provide fire protection and “priority street sanding, snow removal” to folks who live in the foothills? They knew it snows on those steep hills and the area is subject to wildfires caused by lightning. The answer is ALL residents need consideration from the local government. To lobby the Air Force to bring in noisy fighters to a city when there is a base in the nearby desert is simply wrong.

  8. They will still vote for him
    Nov 17, 2016, 11:53 am

    Bet ya five bucks most of the people in that room robotically and repeatedly have elected and reelected the city leaders who will now destroy their homes and net worth.

    The Dear Leaders will no doubt offer the newly created elderly-poor a rent subsidized row house near St. Al’s as replacement for their rim view dream home.

    I suspect Bieter plans large swaths of commercial / industrial with apartment towers and hotels on the bench. He will then travel to a national meeting of city leaders and receive a trophy for destroying so many people’s lives with one swift move.

  9. They will still vote for him
    Nov 17, 2016, 2:05 pm

    For those of you who think you have “no skin in the game”. If you live within several miles of the Boise airport, especially on the center line of the runways or se-s-sw of it, you have skin in the game. The value of your home will stagnate or drop. So you too live ‘near’ an airport. The whole valley does.

    They want to bring a dozen or two or three of the world’s loudest airplanes here, fly late at night, and call you unpatriotic if you complain about the glassware and windows in your house rattling at 2am. They will give you a $10 coupon for a roll of insulation as settlement.

    The airbase at mountain home was located specifically to avoid harming the public and to give the military a safe isolated sandbox.

    However, today, I cannot find a single politico or MSM media outlet which opposes screwing up this town with noise and air pollution. Money transcends as most locals are Rinos or Libs, with the federal republican team also fully in support. Amazing.

  10. TookMyMoneyAndRan
    Nov 17, 2016, 3:39 pm

    I lived 1 mile to the Northeast of the airport, and was retired. I was a pure monetary benefit to Boise. I moved away 4 months ago, and will never return. The airport noise issue was one of the top reasons I left Boise, the out of control growth was another.
    My back yard is spooky quiet now, and I love it! I wish all of you the best of luck fighting Emporer for Life Dave Bieter.

  11. FWIW I live in central Meridian and get low and slow flyovers frequently. And of course because they are low and slow they need to throttle up while still MILES away from the airport. LOUD AS HELL SOMETIMES. All I have to say is this. IF I WANTED TO LIVE NEXT TO A NAVY BASE I WOULD. and yes, I know because I have lived next to a Navy Base.

  12. Both being a bench resident, and having spent almost a decade in the Marine Corps, I can say that the noise is sometimes too much as it is. Sometimes, on a quiet calm day, I can hear the rounds being fired at the range south of pleasant valley road. But, the “fly-overs” are not the real problem. The fly overs are just that, they fly over then leave. Not really a problem. What is the problem is the fact that anytime military aircraft run safety checks, or touch-and-goes, the whole city can hear it. Those activities do not just fly-by. They persist and continue, and occasionally for hours.
    I, just as most USMC vets, enjoy the sound of “freedom”, and the smell of carbon. But only when I want to. Not when it is shoved into my daily. I agree, the F-whatever the F**k, should stay in Mountain Home.

  13. The taxes we pay provids snow removal in the hills. I agree with Jay. I owned a home near the airport and put up with the noise over ten years. Knew that going in. Where I live now there is more air craft noise than when I lived near the airport. The airport has been there for a very long time.

    Buyer beware…..

  14. In response to Jay:
    Stating that you are uninformed about the situation regarding airport noise is obvious after reading your presumptuous assertions against the concerned citizens who live in the affected area. Beginning your statement with, “please don’t jump me” carries the same cowardly pretense as the modern expression, “no offense, but…”. If you are going to make an accusatory statement against an entire neighborhood of people you need to be prepared to deal with the consequences.

    Surely you see the irony in your sentiment of accusing others of not being stalwart with the decisions they make. Here is the situation that you are not grasping. Yes, we all know that living close to a burgeoning airport comes with it share of noise and inevitable progress. It is noise that we tolerate each and every day without complaint. We already experience the sound of military jets rumbling our windows and pausing our conversations from time to time. Many of us joke that it is the sound of freedom.

    This is not our concern. Increased air traffic and a growing airport is not our concern. Our concern is the city council publicly voicing support to accept aircraft that is louder than anything we have experienced– planes that are so loud it would render many of our homes “uninhabitable”. Please also consider the decrease in property value of those living just outside the area of concern. This is not a dramatic statement but one that is outlined by the BOI contingency plan should this worst case scenario come to fruition. This scenario would just be considered unfortunate if the military had no other options, but that is not the case.

    Mountain Home is a much less populated area of consideration. Your analogy of comparing our situation with that of people living the foothills is weak at best. To make it equivalent, it would be more like city council supporting a move to bring in snow makers to increase the amount of snowfall beyond anything the residents have currently experienced. You see we are not dealing with an unpredictable and uncontrollable force like mother nature, we are dealing with political decisions made by human beings. But the more accurate analogy wouldn’t stop there.

    There would also be a special contingency map showing the increased snowfall would make 105 homes so undesirable that the city would agree to purchase them for an appraised value. Who knows what happens if the homeowner considers the appraised value to be inaccurate. Now do you think that the hearty people living in the foothills would just chalk this up to part of the deal when they purchased their homes? The rhetoric and dismissive attitude that we are receiving from airport representatives and the lack of communication from city council to address this potentially life changing scenario feels very much like your cowardly opening plea to not accept the consequences of making broad and reckless implications against an entire neighborhood of concerned citizens.

    We are simply asking for transparency, communication, and a voice in a matter that deeply affects our lives. We are asking for a city council that is prepared to stand behind and explain their publicly voiced opinions.

  15. Unfortunate for City leaders there have been public discussions about how the F-35 program in Boise would be an economic development opportunity for Boise with the expansion of the airport and the additional jobs to operate and maintain the planes. My read of Idaho Code Title 7 prevents the use of eminent domain or condemnation of property for the purposes of “of promoting or effectuating economic development”. As a self-proclaimed “reasonable citizen” following this story and the City’s advocacy, I have no doubt it is all about economic development. If the City was only concerned about a modern and functional military, then Mountain Home is a solid solution. Bringing it inside Boise city limits is only about economic development.

    The press release dated 2-22-2010 from the City of Boise, still available on-line, discusses the City’s support for the program and the positive economic development it will provide.

    In a public memo dated February 5th 2010, available on the City’s website, the Boise Director of Intergovernmental Affairs stated “these missions represent a very promising and rare economic development opportunity, up to 3,000 jobs and $400M in new construction”

    City of Meridian press release to encourage citizens to attend and help support the F-35 program in Boise as “one of Idaho’s most significant prospective economic development projects” While Meridian can not use eminent domain in Boise, it reiterates this is not a national defense issue, it is all about economic development, which is not supposed to be facilitated via eminent domain.

    I think these statements will prevent the City, or at least make it more costly and difficult, from using eminent domain to support the F-35 program and the City will likely need to shift the eminent domain activity to the federal government or the State. Get ready to see the City transfer ownership or control of parts of the airport to allow other agencies to use eminent domain free and clear of the economic development problem the city has created for itself.

    As an aside I support bringing the F-35 to Idaho, Mountain Home is good, Boise is fine with me as well, but not the forceful taking of private property for the clearly stated economic development objectives of the City.

    EDITOR NOTE–City claims there is no intent to use eminent domain to acquire property. They ARE offering to buy “easements” to allow planes to fly over property. Easements stay with the property regardless of who owns it and in this case are nothing more than a way to prevent owners from filing suit in the future.

  16. Jennifer. Thank you, this is the thoughtful response that I was hoping for. The reason I stated that I was uninformed and then stated my opinion was to actually say that I was open to having my opinion changed and educated, which you did very well.

    My history where I was pulling from was race tracks that were in operation for years out in the middle of nowhere. Then people build houses next to it and complain about the noise, eventually getting it shut down. Our own Firebird is in danger of this in the future.

    Thank you for your very educating reply Jennifer.

  17. I generally agree with the buyer beware idea. If this was an expansion of the airport for cargo and passenger traffic, those living by the airport had and should have seen that risk.

    However to convert an urban airport, with a small air guard presence, into a larger military air base with new and loud fighter jets, when there is a great airforce base 30 miles east, it is hard to expect and beyond what I think would be a reasonable assumption.

  18. They will still vote for him
    Nov 18, 2016, 1:05 pm

    Bet ya $5 the Airforce, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin want to radically expand Boise and minimize or eliminate mountain home AFB.

    If you are an Airforce pilot or defense contractor pilot who is being tempted by an airline career, being forced to live in a place like mountain home AFB will weigh heavily. Boise is a much more attractive place to live and raise a family.

    I don’t believe it for one second when they tell us the Boise base will remain small. Our newest aircraft require intensive training, so the countries that buy them send their pilots here to learn. Just think; we could have a bunch of Iraqi, Jordanian, Egyptian, Saudi pilots buzzing us while learning to fly F-35s.

    I invite them to make Boise base huge… just don’t base loud airplanes here. And please start respecting the peace and quiet concept for all neighborhoods, not just those near Washington DC. The Airforce has more than a dozen types of airplanes and drones. They can base something quiet in Boise if they are told to do so by our politicos. They will not abandon Idaho because it has the large empty spaces and training ranges they need. Even if they do leave completely it’s better than 24/7 earth-shaking noise.

    I suggest those in opposition and our media look for lobby money links to our local and state officials on this topic. This whole situation amazes me. To have persons driving electric cars due to a fanatical religious loyalty to conservation and global warming also be excited about basing noisy fuel sucking killing machines here is quiet amusing and telling. Something is causing them to ignore their belief system.

    PS: Snow making in the foothills is a great idea. I still think we could turn this entire valley into the commoner’s Vail. Just doze a few of the lower end neighborhoods and build several Vegas like hotels with a large circulating trolley running throughout the whole area. I think one of those gravel pit ponds out by 30th street could fit a cruise ship, and the new CWI property could fit the Magic Kingdom.

  19. Thanks Guardian for the correction on eminent domain. I thought I recalled the F-35 program at Boise would have required the purchase of numerous homes in the impact zone, if so there would be some unwilling sellers as with any public works project needing land.

  20. Idaho Tater
    Nov 18, 2016, 3:04 pm

    One could argue that purchasing near the airport or in the flight path constitutes “coming to the nuisance” in legal parlance. However, that only applies to complaining about the conditions as they were when you chose to move there. Since 1996, there have been A-10’s at Gowen. So, from 1996 to the present, those who have moved into the most affected noise pollution areas have known what they were getting into. However, the F-15 and F-35 are a whole different animal when it comes to noise. I have read the noise study. There are maps that show the noise pollution caused by the F-15 and F-35. The maps are amazing. The A-10 is a relatively quiet aircraft. The fighter jets are screamers and window rattlers. The 90db “noise envelope” of the F-35 or even the F-15 would cover all of Columbia Village, most of the bench, and significant part of SW Boise, Ada County and south Meridian. The A-10 envelope is tiny in comparison. So don’t blame homeowners for being pissed when they want to replace A-10’s with F-15’s or F-35’s. It’s like moving next to a small pig farm and having the pig farm replaced by the government with a 30 square mile area filled with pulp mills and garbage dumps and slaughterhouses, and then somebody telling you it’s your fault for moving there. I agree that we need a mission at Gowen, but not a fighter jet mission. That needs to go to Mountain Home.

  21. Dave;

    I understand that you were out of town and all, but seriously?
    Nothing on the two BPD officers shot, the K9 killed, the one man crime spree?
    Just your usual pet peeve stories like CWI’s bond and airport noise.
    And you wonder why you’re not treated as an actual news source.

    EDITOR NOTE–Nothing for us to add that wasn’t already covered. Coppers did everything according to the book and we can all be grateful it didn’t turn out worse. FYI, we have had private communications with the coppers about the tragic events.

  22. Idaho Tater, I guess you did not live here when the F111’s were based here. It you were, then you would know how inaccurate you statement is. I was born here a long time ago, and the National Guard, Air Force, Navy, , and whomever, have had loud aircraft since before I was born.
    Then my next question would be, do you live near the airport? If so why? Unless you bought before 1948, you have no skin in the game. I have now live over five miles to the north east, and I put up with aircraft noise daily.

    EDITOR NOTE–F-111 fighter bombers have never been based in Boise. They were at Mountain Home.

  23. Wolf,

    We have had to much coverage of the tragic event.

    If you do not like what the Guardian posts, go away.

  24. Dave,
    I stand corrected. What was the noisy fighters that flew out of here in the 70’s?

    EDITOR NOTE–During that period we had RF-4 recon birds.

  25. Mesa Man.. no, if you don’t like what the Guardian posts, please stay. What it the sense of only reading what you agree with?

  26. They will still vote for him
    Nov 20, 2016, 12:43 pm

    The internet is like finding needle in a haystack. Over the years I’ve noticed people claiming military expertise on fighter jets often operated a mop and potato peeler during their time in service knowing very little accurate information.

    Gowen/Boise had a long history of smoky noisy airplanes which ended in 1996 when F4G was deployed and never returned. It was the last or nearly the last F4 unit in the USA. Since then only visiting military after-burning types have caused annoyances for our paper thin three season homes. Also Horizon Air operated noisy F-28-1000 and 4000 jets until the early 2000s… And some idiot at the Boise airport allowed Horizon to do nighttime engine out training with these jets over Boise until they were replaced with CRJ-700 program. So, point is. Only visitors have been noisy at BOI since year 2000.

    Additionally since 1996 the airport administration and FAA has slowly and begrudgingly started to address noise concerns by designating arrival and departure pathways. These SIDs and STARs could still be improved a great deal more but the population remains too stupid to even know what the phone number is to the airport and mayor’s office, thus city leaders can honestly say “very few people complain”.


    Wikipedia typically has some useful information, and, better yet in the credit section are links to source information. Over the years, reading here in The Guardian has been humorous to see the lack of knowledge about the regions military history.

  27. I live a 20 minute drive from the airport. The low and LOUD flybys I get occasionally are just as bad as when I lived only a few thousand feet from the flightline of a Navy base. My simple question is… why not simply have them use a the quietest least offensive approach ? They are clearly not doing that now so there is some progress that can be made with both sides winning.

  28. I propose an F15 / F35 noise simulator installation outside of Boise city hall where people can hear for themselves what Dave Bieter says “Boiseans support”.

  29. A month ago the Statesman had an article on airport plans.
    It seems there is no need to grow the airport, as the number of flights did not increase.
    The airport director is actually asking the airlines to bring more flights to Boise.
    The only reason they want to expand the airport is to apply for the federal grants for it.
    The federal money will be feeding the Construction and Transportation industry, that is the main employer in the Ada County.
    This is the same reason as for bringing F-35 to Boise. Federal money.
    They will also need federal money to build 3rd runway, and for that they need F-35.
    The logic is a bit twisted, but basically these “political leaders” do not have any idea how to grow local economy, besides brigning federal money to Idaho.

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