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Official: No F-35 low-level training over Maine - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Official: No F-35 low-level training over Maine

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By DAVID SHARP
Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The National Guard says a fighter that has generated noise complaints won't be making ground-hugging flights over western Maine under its proposal to double the airspace for low-level training.

The Vermont National Guard has received approval for a new aircraft - the F-35 - that wasn't contemplated when the expansion process began in 2006. Due in 2020, those jets are louder than existing fighters.

Landon Jones, a National Guard airspace manager, said F-15s and F-16s will be allowed to drop to 500 feet but the F-35s will have to fly at 7,000 feet or higher, where noise is less of an issue.

The National Guard aims to complete a final Environmental Impact Statement this fall. The proposal is opposed by Maine's governor, who's called it a "want, not a need."

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