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Vermont National Guard F-35 Program

Alerts
Flyover scheduled for 9/11 memorial; return flights through 9/13.
About the F-35A

The F-35A Lightning II fifth generation fighter uses aerodynamic performance and advanced integrated avionics to provide next-generation stealth, enhanced situational awareness, and reduced vulnerability for the United States and allied nations. In 2016, the United States Air Force selected the 158th Fighter Wing to receive the first F-35A's in the Air National Guard after an extensive review. The initial two F-35A's arrived in Vermont in the fall of 2019 and the 158th FW reached their full inventory of 20 fighter jets a year later. Currently, the 158th FW is on track to complete their conversion requirements by the end of calendar year 2021, at which point they will become fully operational. The Air Force has no plans to change the decision to base the F-35A's in Burlington, Vermont.

Frequently Asked Questions
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The 158th Fighter Wing generally operates with takeoff windows Tuesdays through Fridays, 8:30-10:30 a.m. and 12:30-2:30 p.m., averaging two takeoff windows per day, each generally with 4 to 8 aircraft. The Wing also operates during drill weekend, typically the first non-holiday weekend of the month. Times may change due to weather, Federal Aviation Administration air traffic coordination, maintenance requests, and other factors, which prevent us from releasing more specific takeoff information. The 158th Fighter Wing publishes press releases whenever there is a significant deviation from this schedule, such as during night flying.

As of June 2021, the 158th Fighter Wing has used afterburner only once since their arrival in September 2019, less than 1 percent of all flights.

First, although 158th Fighter Wing pilots are authorized to take off in afterburner, we have chosen not to do so regularly, as we recognize this would have an impact on the local community. 

Second, we use a noise abatement profile that includes reduced climb angles and lower power settings on takeoff. This reduces the engine’s power output by about a third after the aircraft reaches its climb airspeed after takeoff.

Third, pilots use a 500-foot higher pattern altitude when preparing to land compared to the F-16. In general, the profiles used on approach for landing are higher and quieter than the F-16 profiles.

Fourth, our pilots typically avoid flying over Winooski High School when landing on Runway 15.

Finally, pilots practice airport landing patterns at other military airfields to the maximum extent possible and perform one arrival at Burlington International Airport with a full-stop landing unless mission requirements dictate otherwise.

You may file an F-35 noise comment using the contact form on this page. The Vermont National Guard will receive and log your comment.

If you live in southern Vermont and would like to file an F-15 noise comment, you may contact the Massachusetts Air National Guard via email at usaf.ma.104-fw.mbx.public-affairs@mail.mil.

If you are unsure what aircraft generated the noise but believe it came from out of state, you may leave a comment with the Federal Aviation Administration at 9-AWA-NoiseOmbudsman@faa.gov. You can also call and leave a voicemail at 202-267-3521 or 781-238-7600. 

The direction of takeoffs and landings is determined by the active runway at the airport. The air traffic controllers determine the active runway based on wind direction, because aircraft always take off and land into the wind. Controllers will pick the runway that has a headwind component, even if it’s predominantly a crosswind. If winds are calm, controllers will usually pick the runway that aligns with forecast winds.

The swooping maneuver allows jets to complete their landing efficiently to open the runway back up for civilian and commercial aircraft traffic. A straight-in approach could back up airspace for up to 20 miles, creating an aerial traffic jam. In addition, the final descending turn is quieter than a straight-in approach because the jets use gravity in the final turn to help fly an approach speed instead of increased engine thrust. It’s not much of a power reduction, but it’s slightly less than flying straight in, and it keeps the jets higher for a longer period of time over the local community, reducing the noise footprint.

The 65 Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL) is a noise metric combining the levels and durations of noise events over an extended period. It is a cumulative average computed over a 24-hour period to represent the total noise exposure. DNL also accounts for the more intrusive nighttime noise by adding a 10 dB penalty for noise events after 10:00 p.m. and before 7:00 a.m. DNL is used at all U.S. airports with the exception of those in California, which use a similar metric. Therefore, residents within and outside the 65 DNL contour will experience peaks in excess of 65 DNL.

F-15s from the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 104th Fighter Wing train over southern Vermont. The point of contact for the Massachusetts Air National Guard is usaf.ma.104-fw.mbx.public-affairs@mail.mil.

C-130's from the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing periodically train out of Burlington International Airport. They can be contacted via their contact us page or by phone at 518-344-2423.

Other military aircraft may train in Vermont. Of note, all air traffic is managed by the Federal Aviation Administration. The Vermont Air National Guard has no visibility or authority over air use by other military, civilian or commercial air traffic in the state of Vermont.

No. The Vermont National Guard does not have the authority to regulate training flights from other states, to include use of the Burlington International Airport, a public airport.

Press Releases
158th Fighter Wing to Increase Flight Activity Week of May 17
May 18, 2021

158th FW to increase flight activity
May 15, 2021

VTARNG to hold welding challenge among Vt. tech colleges
May 7, 2021

New noise comment phone number
April 30, 2021

Upcoming VTARNG deployment ceremonies
April 29, 2021

About the 158th Fighter Wing

MISSION:
Provide the nation and state a Ready Force skilled in the execution of a broad spectrum of global and domestic operations.

VISION:
A Premier Ready Fighter Wing focused on Mission and People, driven by our Core Values and our commitment to continual improvement.

PRIORITIES:
Generate Growth
Maximize Mission Readiness
Build Leaders

Contact Us
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