A Line in the Florida Sand

The chamber of commerce for the Destin area of the Florida panhandle has called on the nearby city of Valparaiso to drop its lawsuit against the Air Force over the service’s decision to beddown F-35s at Eglin Air Force Base as part of a joint training schoolhouse for the stealth fighters. The Destin Log reported Monday that the chamber passed a resolution last month calling Valparaiso’s lawsuit “unnecessary” and potentially “destructive” to the local economies and asking the city to negotiate with the Air Force to resolve its concerns over the F-35’s noise levels. According to the newspaper, chamber president Shane Moody said at a chamber breakfast April 10 that the Fort Walton Beach and Niceville chambers joined Destin in the resolution. At the same breakfast, Col. George Ross, chief of the F-35 site activation task force, said the latest studies show that the F-35 is actually not as loud as originally assumed, but the Air Force is still figuring out how to mitigate the noise impact on the local communities as it conducts the supplemental analysis of the environmental impact of the beddown.