Vermont Chamber of Commerce drives statewide petition in support of the F-35
The Vermont Chamber of Commerce today launched a statewide petition in support of bringing the F-35 to Vermont. The campaign focuses on the local economic benefits of locating the new air force jets at Burlington International Airport, current home of the Air Guard's F-16 wing. The petition is being distributed to member businesses throughout Vermont, emphasizing that this is a statewide opportunity that has statewide implications.
“The F-35 is a local and statewide opportunity,” says Chris Carrigan, VP Business Development, Vermont Chamber of Commerce. “Selection to base the F-35 would secure the future of the VTANG for the next 3-4 decades and ensure key economic benefits for Vermont Chamber members and their employees.”
Key economic reasons to base the F-35 in Vermont, include:
- Retention of 1,100 employees of the Vermont Air National Guard (400 full-time & 700 part-time)
- $53M annual payroll that significantly contributes to the statewide economy
- $2.5M annually (14% of the Airport Budget) in-airport fire & rescue services provided to BTV by the VTANG
- $27,000 per drill weekend revenue (hotel, food, services contract): $325,000 per year
- $50,000 per mission training center monthly revenue (airfare, hotels, per diem, rental cars)
- Economic livelihood of Vermont companies and employees that manufacture parts and components for the F-35A platform
- Assuming a full build out of the F-35A, Vermont could benefit with additional jobs and payroll impact:
- 173 direct jobs for $24,747,374 direct dollars and 485 indirect jobs for $27,222,114 indirect dollars
The United States Air Force (USAF) has identified the Vermont Air National Guard (VTANG) based in Burlington, VT as one of two preferred alternative operational bases for the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, which will replace the legacy and aging F-16s. The Vermont Air National Guard and our Green Mountain Boys have a world renowned reputation and tradition of flying at the Burlington International Airport since July 1st, 1946 and serving to protect our country at home and abroad.
Source: Vermont Chamber of Commerce, August 2, 2012. The Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the largest state-wide private, not-for-profit business organization, represents nearly every sector of the state's corporate/hospitality community. Our mission is to create an economic climate conducive to business growth and the preservation of the Vermont quality of life.