Residents near Leeuwarden airbase lament sound of F-35 fighter jets
Residents near the Leeuwarden airbase said they are becoming increasingly frustrated with the thundering noise of F-35 fighter jets above their homes, the Trouw reported.
In the first five months of this year, six hundred complaints about the noise from the F-35 jets were received by the Military of Defense. Most of the complaints came from residents of the surrounding villages, Marsum, Ingelum, Stiens, Jelsum, Britsum and Koarnjum.
The majority of homes in the area are insulated well to block out the sound of air traffic, however, the disturbance caused by the F-35 pierces through the walls. Gerard Veldman from Jelsum hoped to adapt to the sound of the F-35 as he had to the F-16 fighter jets. “You can’t get used to it. The sound of the F-35 is louder and thunders on for much longer”, he said.
Locals established a website monitoring the decibels the sound of the F-35 fighter jets produced. On the website, it showed that the F-35 produced 109 decibels at its maximum. That is equivalent to the sound of fifteen F-16 jets landing, according to the website.
Other residents from the surrounding area also voiced their disapproval of the fighter jets. An inhabitant of Marssum said a piece of plaster fell from the ceiling when a F-35 jet flew over his house.
Parents of children in the nearby region said their children “panicked completely” at the sound of the jets. Some children even vomited due to anxiousness caused by the sound.
A farmer also reported that a calf was trampled to death by cows frightened by the noise.
Velman said he believes the flight behavior of the pilots is to blame, "When four aircrafts arrive simultaneously they often have to make a go-around before landing." Veldman said they could replace that circuit landing by having the aircrafts land one by one.
The base commander said he hoped to be able to reduce the noise slightly but said, “they are still fighter jets”. An afterburner during takeoff would be one such solution. “This allows the aircraft to gain altitude faster and fly higher over Marsum”, the base commander said. “There will be less noise nuisance here but other villages may experience more disturbance. So, it is complex.”
The F-35 fighter first arrived in the Netherlands in 2016 after the country purchased more operationally and technically advanced 5th-generation aircraft, explaining the F-16 was outdated after being used for more than 30 years