F-35 fighter opposition defeated in Burlington, Vt.

F-35 fighter: The Vermont Air National Guard facility at Burlington International Airport is the Air Force's preferred site for basing the new planes. A decision is expected this fall.

Craig Fry/Yuma Sun/AP
An F-35 B Lightning II from VMFA 121 roars off the runway at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.

The Burlington City Council has defeated two resolutions that would have opposed a proposal to base F-35 fighter jets at the Burlington International Airport.

The Vermont Air National Guard facility at Burlington International Airport is the Air Force's preferred site for basing the new planes. A decision is expected this fall.

Supporters have said that blocking the new planes would harm the Guard and have a negative impact on the local and state economy. Opponents have expressed concerns about how the planes would impact health and overall quality of life.

The Burlington Free Press reports (http://bfpne.ws/1amgsBZ) the first resolution sought to block the F-35s from the Vermont Air National Guard facility at the airport. The second would've created "health and safety standards" applying to all planes at the airport.

"A vote against this second resolution is a vote to value Burlington's 67-year relationship with the Vermont Air National Guard," said Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger before the second vote. "A vote against this resolution is a vote for financial responsibility, a healthy airport and a strong economy."

The Air Force is expected to decide sometime this fall whether to base 18 to 24 of the fighter planes at the Burlington International Airport with the Vermont Air National Guard.

The vote by the Burlington council was the latest in a succession of non-binding votes by communities around the airport on whether to support bringing the planes to Vermont.

In South Burlington, the airport's host city, councilors earlier this year in favor of the F-35, reversing an earlier decision. In July, the Winooski City Council voted to oppose the basing plan.

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