Airport spokesman Sean Briggs told the GUARDIAN the opponents were allowed to display protest signs and a petition outside the room full of Air National Guard brass and pilots, but they were not allowed in the room , “So folks wouldn’t be confused.”
ANG brass and Idaho politicos have been allotted more than $100,000 in public funds to shape public opinion in favor of basing the F-35 at Gowen. Despite those efforts, they have failed to convince a growing assortment of Boise Bench residents.
The ANG claims recruitment would fall off if their 1000-plus staffed unit was forced to go to Mt. Home to train. There are only 40 pilots in the unit. The brass pretty much relied on an “all or nothing” approach, citing the economic benefit to the community. Questions about using the public relations cash to attract another flying mission were ignored or deflected.
MONTY MERICLE has done extensive research on the issue and we cannot see any holes in his facts. He offers an extended view below:
Homeowners worst fears were confirmed at the Boise Airport Noise Study open house last week. The spins, distortions and misrepresentations of facts about large increases in airport noise levels due to the stationing of fighter jets at the airport was evident in the meeting room as Boise Airport officials and employees told listeners various versions of the facts based on what each listener wanted to hear.
A-10, F-15, F-35 loudness – Airport officials claimed ignorance and/or confusion about the noise levels of the new jets, even though their own Noise study was based on jet loudness tables that clearly show increases in noise levels of between 8 and 16 times that of the current military jets operating out of the Boise Airport. Yet when this information was presented by informed homeowners outside the open house (homeowners were barred from presenting information inside the open house itself), official comments were that even though they did not know what the noise level comparisons were, they were certainly not what those homeowners outside were claiming.
Afterburner use – Airport staff has stated repeatedly that F-35s will not use afterburners at the Boise Airport. However, Air National Guard pilots at the open house, while not willing to go on record, acknowledged that F-35s will use afterburners at least on hot days during the summers. Afterburner use doubles jet loudness levels.
“Not Suitable for Residential Use” houses – While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has declared sensitive uses such as homes, schools, hospitals, churches, day care centers, etc. within a certain noise zones are to be classified as “Not Suitable for Residential Use”, Airport officials insist that those houses will still be “ habitable.” Unsuitable but still inhabitable?? What sort of double speak is that?
Buying houses – The $440,000 Boise Airport Noise Study recently approved by the FAA includes the following statement pertaining to a plan to purchase and demolish the first phase of homes to be reclassified as “Not Suitable For Residential Use – ” all 105 homes would be offered participation in the voluntary acquisition program.” Yet Airport officials at the open house and in previous interviews with the Idaho Statesman were telling listeners that they will not be buying houses.
Does that mean they will offer to buy them without having any real intention of buying them? When pressed on this issue, one airport official simply started –“ I am not going to discuss this with you further” and walked away.
Completing the 3rd runway – The Mayor and most of the Airport officials are going on record as supporting the completion of an existing 3rd runway a mile south of the current runway complex because the Air Force has determined that this plan would reduce the reclassification of existing homes as “Not Suitable For Residential Use” by over 85%. But when questioned at the open house by residents living south of the airport, the airport official’s response was, “ we have no plans to build the 3rd runway.”
This double speak, distortion, contradiction, and misrepresentation is typical of the game plan the city and airport is following in their blind rush to bring in extremely loud military jet planes. It is a shameful way to treat existing homeowners, and the citizens of Boise need to know about it and demand that the city and airport deal with residents in good faith.
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