Valparaiso residents got the chance to speak their mind at a public hearing with environmental analysis officials about the new F-35 plan that would open up their skies to more jets flying.
Mayor Bruce Arnold is opposed to the Air Force's plans to allow more jets to fly over the city. The current restriction limits F-35s from using the runway that goes directly over the city unless there are weather or safety issues.
City officials and residents are urging the Air Force to look into all 8 alternative established in an environmental analysis rather than jumping to their preferred choice which they say would have a negative effect on the city.
"Implementation of alternate 1I represents a win-win for the Air Force and the city of Valparaiso," said mayor Arnold. "By building the new runway and limiting the north south runway to emergency military air traffic, the noise could be removed from both Valparaiso and Eglin main as well."
Larry P, a Valparaiso resident, was one of the many that stood with the mayor in opposition, "I don't understand why with all the options that were on the table that we would take a devastating position as far as the city of Valparaiso is concerned. I just can't figure out the logic that would go into that type of thinking."
The Air Force isn't scheduled to make a final decision until the winter of 2014, but will continue to take public comments until July 29th.
If you would like to make a comment, you can send an email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to:
Eglin AFB Public Affairs
ATTN: Mike Spaits
101 West D Avenue, Suite 238
Eglin AFB, FL 32542