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Congressman Pocan requests more testing on noise impact of F-35 jets

MADISON (WKOW) — Congressman Mark Pocan is requesting the Air Force provide additional testing of the noise impact of F-35 jets potentially coming to Traux Field.

Traux is one of two preferred sites for the new fighter jets. Some community members are concerned the noise will be much louder than current F-16s. 

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) sent a letter to the Air Force requesting the 115th Fighter Wing test take off and landing patterns of both the F-35s and F-16s to see what the noise difference is. 

“As I hear from more members of the community, it has been brought to my attention that the noise impact is difficult to assess due to the Air Force’s use of the Day, Night, Average Sound Level (DNL) metric,” said Pocan.Community members will have a more accurate understanding of the noise impact from the F-35 mission.”

The Air Force released an environmental impact study which shows the proposed F-35 jets would be much louder than F-16s. However, Madison alders, community members and business leaders are split on the new jets coming to the city. 

Some argue the potential of F-35s would bring dozens of jobs and an economic benefit to Dane County, but the increased noise level would impact hundreds living near the military base.

The environmental study estimates 1,000 additional households near the airport would hear daily noise level from the jets, about as loud as a nearby vacuum cleaner. 

Zach Brandon, the president of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, said residents could apply for federal assistance to reduce noise levels such as sound insulation for homes. 

Congressman Pocan wrote his letter to the Acting Secretary of the U.S. Air Force about noise and frequency of flight at Truax Air National Guard Base but is still waiting for a response.  

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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