Burlington and a site in Utah are the two leading contenders to be home to the new F-35 fighter jet program. As the Air Force decides where to put this program, local opinion in Vermont is divided.
Vermont’s congressional delegation continues to support it, and last week the leader of the Vermont National Guard, Adjutant General Michael Dubie, tried to galvanize public support, stressing the financial importance of winning this military contract.
"If there was a number of missions that we could choose from, well that would be a different issue. But we don’t believe there is," Dubie said. "The way we see it, there is no plan B for the F-35s. If we were to lose our F-16s and not have a replacement, we think that we would be dramatically different in size. That’s less money, less jobs and less resources."
But local officials in South Burlington, Burlington and Winooski – the municipalities that are most affected by noise from the airport – are approaching it from a very different point of view.
VPR’s Kirk Carapezza speaks to Bob Kinzel about those perspectives.