The Air Force released its final Environmental Impact Statement for the U.S. Air Force’s F-35A Operational Beddown – Pacific on March 4, 2016. On April 4, the Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James signed the record of decision making it official that two F-35A squadrons will be based at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, starting in 2020. Thank you to everyone who commented during the EIS process!
Findings from the Draft EIS
- Basing the F-35As at Eielson will bring an estimated 2,765 individuals to our community, including 1,563 military and civilian jobs and 1,202 military dependents.
- The first aircraft would be delivered in 2019, with the final aircraft arriving by late 2020.
- The Proposed Action would have positive impacts on the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District by adding an estimated 385 students that would fill current excess capacity.
- 314 new households will seek housing in the community.
- Positive economic impacts would be significant. An annual average of 585 jobs, $48 million in labor income, and $113 million in economic output would be generated through construction activities.
- Full-time operations associated with basing the F-35As at Eielson are expected to begin in FY2020. At that time, an estimated 2,321 jobs, $176.1 million in labor income, and $275.4 million in economic output would be generated by F-35A operations and maintenance activities
- The draft EIS found potential significant impacts for on- and off-base noise impacts. Off base, an increased number of residences in Moose Creek would be exposed to noise levels.
- Subsonic and supersonic operations would not generate noise levels that result in a significant impact. Subsonic noise conditions under the Proposed Action Alternative would not differ substantially from those found under the No-Action Alternative. Sonic booms are anticipated to increase by two per busiest month over Delta Junction and one more boom per busiest month over Circle.