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U.S. Air Force releases Final EIS for proposed F-35A training at Tucson International Airport

Tech. Sgt. Brian West watches an F-35 Lightning II U.S. approach for the first time July 14, 2011, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Tech. Sgt. Brian West watches an F-35 Lightning II approach for the first time July 14, 2011, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The Air Force recently released the final Environmental Impact Statement for four other proposed locations for F-35A pilot training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

TUCSON, Ariz. --

In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the U.S. Air Force has prepared a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed establishment of a Pilot Training Center and associated basing of F-35A training aircraft at one or more existing Air Force or Air National Guard installations within the continental United States.

Potential locations include the Boise Air Terminal Airport Air Guard Station, also known as Gowen Field, Idaho; Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.; Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.; and Tucson International Airport Air Guard Station, Ariz.

A Notice of Availability will be published in the Federal Register on June 15, 2012. A 30-day waiting period will follow the Notice of Availability. After the close of the waiting period, the Air Force will sign the Record of Decision explaining the Air Force conclusion, the reason for the selection, and the alternatives considered.

The purpose of the proposal is to train pilots and personnel to safely and effectively operate F-35A aircraft. The F-35A is essential to the nation's security strategy. The newest and most advanced fifth generation fighter, the F-35 is needed to deter and defeat 21st Century threats. The basing of the F-35A Pilot Training Center and training aircraft is needed to support formal training requirements associated with the F-35A, which would replace or supplement the existing F-16 and A-10 aircraft and complement the F-22 aircraft. Training would include the use of existing training airspace and ranges, which permit flare countermeasures, supersonic flight and the use of munitions.

Potential environmental impacts were analyzed in the Final EIS, including impacts associated with changes in personnel, construction and renovation of facilities, and training activities in existing military airspace, auxiliary airfields and ranges to support the proposed basing of the Pilot Training Center and training aircraft. The Final EIS includes concerns and comments on the Proposed Action provided by members of the public during the Draft EIS review and hearings.

Document Access: A paper copy of the document is available at the following public libraries:


Copper Queen Library
6 Main St.
Bisbee, AZ 85603

Safford City-Graham
County Library
808 S. 7th Ave.
Safford, AZ 85546

San Carlos Public Library
89 San Carlos Ave.
San Carlos, AZ 85550

Sierra Vista Public Library
2600 E. Tacoma St.
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635

Valencia Branch Library
202 W. Valencia Road
Tucson, AZ 85706

For More Information: For more information about the project, please contact Kim Fornof at 210-652-1961 or email aetc.a7cp.inbox@us.af.mil.

For media inquiries, please contact Maj. Gabe Johnson, 162nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs Officer, Tucson International Airport Air Guard Station at 520-295-6192.