Changes at Eglin Will Bring More Flights, Noise and Congested Traffic

Plans to add 2,400 or more jobs and bring new aircraft to Eglin Air Force Base may be an economic boon for the Florida Panhandle, but officials suggest it will come at a price.

Air Force officials are warning local government officials that recommendations from the Base Realignment and Closure Commission also means more flights, noise and road traffic. That's if they're approved by Congress.

Most of the new flying and jet noise would come from Eglin's designation as the first training site for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Officials say planes will be taking off or landing every two to three minutes based on a 10-hour workday when the program is running at full speed several years from now.

Eglin is the nation's largest air base. It sprawls across 724 square miles in three counties and includes auxiliary airfields, beaches, forest and swamps.

Eglin also serves as Okaloosa County's commercial airport, and the increased military flying could cut airline flights in the future.