Burlington City Council opposes nuclear weapons-capable aircraft at BTV

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FILE – In this March 29, 2019, photo, a U.S. F-35A fighter jet prepares to land at Chungju Air Base in Chungju, South Korea. The White House says Turkey can no longer be part of the American F-35 fighter jet program. In a written statement, the White House said Wednesday that Turkey’s decision to buy the Russian S-400 air defense system “renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible.” (Kang Jong-min/Newsis via AP)

The Burlington City Council has passed a resolution opposing the presence of nuclear weapon delivery system at Burlington International Airport.

The Vermont Air National Guard said earlier this year that the F-35 jets coming to the airport next month won’t be nuclear capable and that there are no plans to equip them that way.

However, they might be outfitted that way at some point in the future.

Before passing the resolution late Monday night, the council added one new sentence to it: “We do hope that this resolution will eliminate the nuclear capability of F-35 A jets.”

A councilor who helped write the resolution didn’t go along with that change.

“The amendment, to me, did support and sort of implicitly support the basing of the F-35 at Burlington International Airport,” Central District councilor Perri Freeman said. “The original resolution was about the nuclear capacity. I don’t support the nucelar capacity, but I also don’t support the F-35s at Burlington International Airport. There are other folks on the council who do.”

Last year, the Burlington, South Burlington and Winooski City Councils all passed resolutions asking for the F-35 basing to be canceled. Those resolutions were mainly centered around noise concerns.

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