Monday, November 10, 2014

Want to complain about noise coming from the Burlington International Airport (KBTV)? The first thing to do is determine if it's a commercial or military jet that's bothering you

KBTV amends airport noise complaint process

Military jet issues should now go straight to Vt. National Guard

Airport officials released documents Monday chronicling 840 complaints received over the last year through the airport hotline and e-mail address.

Ninety-five percent of those complaints stemmed from jet noise from military aircraft.

"So only 4 percent really belong to the airport," BTV airport manager Gene Richards said.

The Vermont Air National Guard flies a fleet of F-16 fighter jets from its base at the airport in South Burlington

Richards has initiated a change, directing callers upset with military flight operations to contact the Vermont Guard directly from now on.

"Here we track data," Richards said. "But if I don't have control over something, I can't fix it. The (Vermont National) Guard does have control. They can change flight patterns and can make changes."

Maj. Chris Gookin, spokesman for the Vermont Guard, said senior leadership wants to hear public feedback about its operation, and said citizens who complain and request a callback will get one. 

"It becomes part of the input to our ongoing noise mitigation procedures," Gookin said. "And part of this is to hold our pilots accountable."

The Guard noise hotline is 802-338-3000, then press option 3.

A review of the airport complaint log released Monday also makes clear that a relatively small number of citizens are responsible for most of the jet noise complaints received over the last year.

One person filed 150 separate complaints, for example.

The Guard is now beginning the process of planning for the eventual replacement of its F-16 fleet with the new F-35A fighter jet. The Air Force has said the newer model could be even louder, alarming some residents in the residential suburbs that surround the Burlington airport.

- Source: