F-16 fighter jet noise pollution 1.39 times higher than before aircraft training started in Kadena

December 4, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

On December 3, Kadena Town revealed aircraft noise levels had increased, including late evening and early morning flights, since F-16 fighters, which are based at Tulsa Air National Guard Base in Oklahoma, began training at Kadena Air Base. Kadena Town authorities measured noise occurrences at three points in the town and compared the results during the 28 days before and the 28 days after the training started. According to the comparison, the occurrence of noise in late evenings and early mornings since the training began increased 2.28 times as much as the pre-training period (from 142 to 324 cases). The total occurrence of noise increased to 1.39 times more than before (from 3,247 to 4,528 cases). Complaints received by the Town Office also increased from 19 cases to 44.

The two periods under comparison were from September 28 to October 25 and from October 26 to November 22. F-16 fighters flew into the Kadena Air Base on October 22 and began training on October 26.

On December 3, the Three Towns Liaison Council for Kadena Air Base, which consists of Kadena Town, Okinawa City, and Chatan Town, visited and made a complaint to the Okinawa Defense Bureau and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Okinawa office. The Council requested that they do not allow F-16 fighters to operate out of Kadena Air Base and that they provide complete information about foreign fighters to the Council. The Council also visited these institutions before the training had started and requested the aircraft not to fly.

Chatan Town Mayor Masaharu Noguni, who also serves as the chair of the Council, said, “Although we indicated our disapproval of the foreign fighters in advance, F-16 fighters were deployed. It seems that the Air Force has normalized training at the Kadena Air Base.”

(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana) 

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