Air Force delays release of F-35A report

April 18, 2013

The U.S. Air Force is delaying the release of the final Environmental Impact Statement for the F-35A until this fall.

The environmental report, typically styled as the EIS, will contain the Air Force’s final assessment of the best bases for the military’s new fighter/bomber.

The draft of the EIS was released in the spring of 2012 and has led to a fierce local controversy regarding the appropriateness of basing the new plane at the Vermont Air National Guard facility at Burlington International Airport in South Burlington.

The final report originally was scheduled for release in fall 2012. Burlington was identified as the “preferred location” among Air Guard bases in the draft EIS.

Proponents of the basing in Burlington, including the state’s congressional delegation, Gov. Peter Shumlin and business groups, have argued that the plane will ensure that the mission of the Vermont Air National Guard at the airport will remain robust, as would the money generated by the base.

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