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Air Force Rejects Burlington City Council's F-35 Request

Julie Richards and Scott Baldwin of Burlington hold a sign urging voters to reject a ballot item that seeks to stop the basing of F-35s in Burlington
Liam Elder-Connors
/
VPR/file
Julie Richards and Scott Baldwin in March, hold a sign urging voters to reject a city council ballot item that seeks to stop the basing of F-35s in Burlington. While the ballot iten passed, the Air Force Thursday rejected Burlington's request.

The Air Force has rejected a request from the Burlington City Council to cancel plans to base F-35 fighter jets at Burlington International Airport, in South Burlington.

A letter released Thursday from Air Force Secretary Dr. Heather Wilson reiterates the position that the airport is the best location for the planes, explaining that the decision was reached in 2013 after a four-year review of potential sites.

The request from the city council followed the approval of a Town Meeting Day resolution approved by 55 percent of Burlington voters.

It asked the city council to request that plans for basing the F-35 be canceled. Council members, in their request, asked that the Air Force send quieter planes to the Vermont Air Guard.

In her letter, the Air Force Secretary said without the F-35 there would be no flying mission for the air guard.

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