Thursday May 03, 2012
The United States Air Force (Air Force) has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The Air Force proposes to establish the initial beddown for F-35A operational aircraft at one or more Air Combat Command (ACC) or Air National Guard (ANG) installations over a period of approximately 5 years. The beddown scenarios consist of 18 or 24 F 35A aircraft at ANG or AFRC installations, and 24, 48, or 72 F-35A aircraft at ACC bases. The Air Force has identified six alternative locations for initial basing of the operational F-35A aircraft: Burlington AGS (a preferred location), Vermont; Hill AFB, Utah (a preferred location); Jacksonville AGS, Florida; McEntire JNGB, South Carolina; Mountain Home AFB, Idaho; and Shaw AFB, South Carolina. The proposed action also includes basing of personnel needed to operate and maintain the F-35A, and construction and/or modification of facilities on the bases to support F-35A operational aircraft. F-35A aircraft would conduct training flights from the base and in existing airspace associated with each proposed location. No new airspace would be established as part of the proposed action.
The 45-day review and public comment period for the Draft EIS initiated when the Notice of Availability was announced in the Federal Register on April 13, 2012. The Draft EIS is available for downloading from the Web at www.accplanning.org or a hard copy can be obtained by contacting Mr. Nick Germanos at (757) 764-9334.
Public hearings will be held during the 45-day review and comment period commencing on April 30, 2012, and ending on May 17, 2012. The local public hearing will be held May 14, 2012, at South Burlington High School, 550 Dorset Street, South Burlington, from 5 to 8 p.m. An open house will occur between 5 to 6 p.m., at which time Air Force personnel will be available to answer questions about the proposal. The formal public hearing will begin at 6 p.m. After a brief presentation to provide the results outlined in the Draft EIS, the floor will be opened for comments from the public pertaining to the environmental analysis and findings. If all commenters have had an opportunity to comment, the Hearing Officer may adjourn the meeting before 8 p.m.
All comments will be accepted through June 1, 2012; both written and oral comments will be considered equally. Written comments can be submitted at any of the hearings or sent via U.S. Postal Service to HQ ACC/A7PS, 129 Andrews Street, Suite 337, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia 23665-2769, ATTN: Mr. Nick Germanos. Oral comments will be recorded by a stenographer at each of the hearing meetings.