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.
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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.