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F-35 supporters say they have silent majority - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

F-35 supporters say they have silent majority

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Supporters of a proposal to land the military's newest fighter plane in Vermont say they have the support of the silent majority.

At a press conference in Burlington Thursday morning, the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation said it has now collected 18,000 signatures supporting basing the plane with the Vermont Air National Guard.

GBIC President Frank Cioffi says supporters don't need to be loud to make their voice heard.

"We really think this is evidence of the vast support for the basing of the F-35 here and also for the appreciation of what the Vermont Air Guard does for Vermont and for our country," Cioffi said.

Opponents argue the planes pose safety, environmental and health concerns for the population around Burlington International Airport.

Supporters of the plane say concerns about increased noise levels have been exaggerated.

The decision of whether to stage the planes is ultimately and solely up to the Air Force and is expected to be made this October.

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