Before entering the third-floor room where city and Idaho Air National Guard officials set up posters on the topic of airport noise, visitors passed another set of posters and a petition-signing table. These materials urged Boise residents to resist a push to land a U.S. Air Force wing of F-35 jets at the Guard’s Boise base, which uses the same runways as commercial flights.
The people resisting the push are Boise residents, many of whom live near the airport and worry that the F-35s, which are much louder than the A-10s now stationed in Boise, will make life in their neighborhoods less enjoyable. In their interactions with visitors Wednesday, some spoke as though they believe their battle is already lost — that the politicians, Air Force, Guard and Federal Aviation Administration are working together to put F-35s in Boise no matter what Boiseans think.
The official open house was not specifically about the F-35 and whether it belongs in Boise. Instead, airport officials billed it as a way to explain to people measures the airport might take to mitigate noise from the airport. A noise study finalized last year actually anticipated a wing of F-15 fighter jets arriving in Boise, increasing the amount of noise coming from the airport.