Info from Tucson Forward and other news sources:
The U.S. Air Force is inviting the public’s input on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Pilot Training Center of F-35A aircraft.
The Air Force has not chosen a base yet. Potential locations include:
Boise Air Terminal Airport Air Guard Station, also known as Gowen Field, Idaho;
Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.;
Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.;
and Tucson International Airport Air Guard Station, Ariz.
The purpose of the proposal is to train pilots and personnel to operate F-35A aircraft. Training would include the use of existing training airspace and ranges, which permit flare countermeasures, supersonic flight and the use of munitions.
To download a copy of the Draft EIS, visit www.F-35ATrainingEIS.com. A paper copy of the document is also available at the following public libraries:
Copper Queen Library
6 Main St.
Bisbee, AZ 85603
Safford City-Graham County Library
808 S. 7th Ave.
Safford, AZ 85546
San Carlos Public Library
89 San Carlos Ave.
San Carlos, AZ 85550
Sierra Vista Public Library
2600 E. Tacoma St.
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
Valencia Branch Library (only one in Tucson)
202 W. Valencia Road
Tucson, AZ 85706
All comments on the Draft EIS must be postmarked or received by March 14, 2012, for consideration in the Final EIS.
Written comments on the Draft EIS may be submitted to:
David Martin, Air Force Contractor, and Kim Fornof
266 F Street West, Bldg. 901
Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4319
Written and oral comments may also be submitted in person at the public hearings.
Public Hearings: Three public hearings near Tucson International Airport Air Guard Station will be held to inform the public and receive public comments on the Draft EIS. All hearings include an open house information session from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., followed by a presentation and formal public comment session from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Representatives from the Air Force will be available during the open house session to provide information and to answer questions related to the Draft EIS.
Date: Feb. 21, 2012
Location: Windemere Hotel & Conference Center
2047 S. Highway 92
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
Date: Feb. 22, 2012
Location: Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Tucson Airport
4550 S. Palo Verde Road
Tucson, AZ 85714
Date: Feb. 23, 2012
Location: Tucson Jewish Community Center Auditorium
3800 E. River Road
Tucson, AZ 85718
The Draft EIS does say: “On July 29, 2010 the Air Force announced its Preferred Alternative for the Pilot Training Center as 72 F-35A training aircraft at Luke AFB, Arizona. However, no decisions regarding the proposal will be made until after the environmental impact analysis process is complete”.
I blogged about that preliminary decision re: Luke AFB last year (click here).
I hear that the F-35A at 104 decibels is allegedly 4 x as loud as the F-16. If you feel strongly about this issue, do send in a written comment or attend these public hearings to voice your concerns and/or learn more about the F-35A. For more information on noise levels go to Tucson Forward, www.tucsonforward.com.
The info postcard I received from the U.S. Air Force also says that you also seek info from Maj Gabe Johnson, 162nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office, TIA Air Guard Station, by calling 520-295-6192.