Vermont National Guard F-35 Program

Frequently Asked Questions

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 What is the schedule of F-35 operations?

The details below depict the anticipated flight schedule for the F-35's during steady-state operations. In late April - early May a significant portion of the 158th Fighter Wing deployed to Europe to support NATO's air policing mission. This deployment will affect the flight schedule, however, Airmen must still train to maintain proficiencies in accordance with Air Force standards. At this time the flight schedule for the remaining F-35's is variable and cannot be provided in detail.

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.

 How often do F-35s use afterburners during takeoff?

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.

 What exactly are pilots doing to mitigate noise impact during takeoff and landing?

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.

 How do I file a noise comment?

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

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 You can also call and leave a voicemail at 202-267-3521 or 781-238-7600. 

 What factors determine the direction of takeoffs and landings?

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.

 Why do jets "swoop" into their airport during their landings? Does this increase the noise?

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.

 If I live outside the "noise map," why am I still hearing high levels of noise?

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.

 Why do F-35s sometimes operate at night?

Night flying is a critical component of our training and fulfilling our comprehensive readiness requirements. We must ensure our team is ready to respond in any environment or situation, for our state and nation, and we also understand that we must balance this with the impact our training has on the community.

 Why are military aircraft other than the F-35 at Burlington International Airport?

As a fully operational fighter wing, the Vermont Air National Guard trains in regional airspace with partner units. This integrated training is vital to enhance mission readiness and provide realistic combat training experiences. As the cornerstone of the U.S. Air Force fighter fleet, the F-35A Lightning II is designed to operate in conjunction with a variety of aircraft including bombers, fighters and others.

 What other military aircraft operate in Vermont?

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

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.

 Can you limit other states' air operations in 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.

F-35 Comment Form



About the 158th Fighter Wing

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

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

Generate Growth
Maximize Mission Readiness
Build Leaders

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.