Burlington International Airport

An F-35B lifts off from the runway at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida in October 2017. Burlington will receive 18 F-35s starting in 2019.
Samuel King Jr. / U.S. Air Force

Eighteen F-35 stealth fighter jets are set to come to Vermont next year, but on Town Meeting Day, a ballot question with language rejecting the fighters passed with wide support in Burlington. We're looking at what that vote means and what happens next for the F-35s in Vermont.


President Trump announced on Monday a plan to turn air traffic control at the nation's airports over to a non-profit corporation, a plan that worries Gene Richards, director of aviation at Burlington International Airport.

Andy Poulastides / Eglin Public Affairs

The anticipated arrival of F-35 fighter jets has residents near Burlington International Airport concerned about how much noise the jets will generate. And there have been questions about the availability of sound maps that show how jet noise will affect homes around the airport.

A federal judge has dealt a blow to opponents of the Air Force's plan to base F-35 fighter jets at Burlington International Airport.

redlegsfan21 / Wikimedia Commons

With winter tourism suffering due to a lack of snow, you might think fewer people would be flying into Vermont. But officials at many regional airports say business is up.

Toby Talbot / AP File

A high-end hotel could soon be coming to Burlington International Airport. The City of Burlington has asked prospective developers to submit proposals for what could be a 120-room hotel on airport grounds. Officials envision a unique destination for the region’s jet set.

Andy Poulastides / Eglin Public Affairs

Now that it's decided that F-35s are coming to Vermont, here is what you need to know about the jets, the basing and the heated local debate over the U.S. Air Force's choice.

1. By the time basing is complete in 2020, the Air Force will have spent more than $1.5 billion to bring F-35s to Vermont

Angela Evancie / VPR

The Vermont National Guard announced Tuesday that the controversial F-35 fighter jet will be based at Burlington International Airport.

Eighteen of the jets will be based in Vermont by the year 2020, according to Vt. Adjutant Gen. Steve Cray.

Gov. Peter Shumlin and Sen. Patrick Leahy celebrated the decision at a news conference at the Vermont National Guard base as members of the guard looked on and cheered loudly. 

Paladin27 / Flickr

Beginning Feb. 19, 2014, a low-cost travel company will offer nonstop service from Burlington to Orlando via Orlando Sanford International Airport.

Allegiant Travel Company, the Las-Vegas based company that operates Allegiant Airlines, announced the new route on Tuesday afternoon. The airline will offer the flights twice weekly; one-way fares begin at $67.

"We hope this is the beginning of a long productive relationship between Burlington and Allegiant," Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said at a press conference at Burlington International Airport (BTV).

Burlington City Attorney Eileen Blackwood released a report Thursday stating her legal opinion that the city has no way to bar the F-35 from basing at Burlington International Airport.

The report reviews a number of factors, including local, state and federal laws in addition to agreements between the city and federal governments. 

Burlington City Council at a Sept. 23, 2013 meeting.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Now insured against lawsuits related to Burlington International Airport, Burlington’s city council plans to discuss a total ban of the F-35 at the airport later this month.

A resolution drafted by Councilor Vince Brennan proposes a complete ban on the high-tech fighter, citing public health and safety concerns as well as liability issues for the city.

The city of Burlington purchased an insurance policy on Friday that will allow city officials to further discuss banning the controversial F-35 fighter jet from the Burlington International Airport.

City Attorney Eileen Blackwood began exploring the legal possibility of a ban weeks ago and discovered Burlington was not insured against lawsuits stemming from airport-related issues. That lapse left city officials, including city councilors, open to liability if the discussion of an F-35 ban led to a lawsuit.

Vermont Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Scores of federal workers in Vermont deemed “essential” during the government shutdown are working without pay and the state says it can’t pay them unemployment benefits.

According to Gene Richards, the director of aviation for Burlington International Airport, almost 100 Transportation Security Administration officers have been working without pay since the federal government shut down Oct. 1.

The U.S. Air Force received 11,158 comments in response to the Revised Draft Environmental Impact statement released in May. The final version of the report offered some insights about the comments received, summarized in the graphic below. 

Open interactive graphic at infogr.am


An F-35 fighter jet.
Rob Shenk / Flickr

The final Environmental Impact Statement on the potential F-35 basing at Burlington International Airport includes only minor changes from a draft version released in May.

The Vermont Air National Guard says the Burlington airport remains the top preferred location for the jet.

The environmental study released late Thursday provides information about the jet’s impact on the six air bases under consideration for the next-generation fighter.

Capt. Brad Matherne conducts preflight checks inside an F-35A Lightning II before a training mission April 4 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
Senior Airman Brett Clashman / U.S. Air Force

The Vermont National Guard announced Tuesday evening that the basing decision for the F-35 fighter jet is about to enter its final stage.

In a press release, Major General Steven Cray said the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the jet's impact on the Burlington area is expected next week.

"Barring any unforeseen issues, to the best of my knowledge, the Final EIS Notice of Availability will be released on October 4th," Cray said in a statement.

VPR/Steve Zind

Smaller airports are feeling the crunch as airlines continue to cut costs.  The big carriers are consolidating services at larger airports and flying fewer planes in and out of smaller ones.

At Burlington Airport passenger numbers are higher than they were a decade ago, but they’ve declined nearly 18 percent since they peaked five years ago.

Burlington isn’t alone – and it’s faring better than many other airports of similar size.

AP/Toby Talbot

The Air Force said on Thursday it will delay the release of its environmental impact statement for basing new F-35 fighter jets in South Burlington.

The Air Force says the final analysis won’t be released until the fall so that it can consider 2010 census data, and so that another public comment period can be held this summer.