FARMINGTON – More Maine residents soon will get a chance to attend a public hearing on a proposal to add a fighter jet to the Burlington Air Guard Station in Vermont, which flies in western Maine airspace.

The Air Force decided this week to add a public hearing in Maine, prompted by a request by Maine’s two U.S. senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, who asked why initial hearings on the plan were scheduled only for Vermont.

Despite potential negative effects on part of Maine, the closest public hearing had been scheduled for Littleton, N.H., according to a letter the senators sent to Air Force officials.

The Air Force now plans to set up a hearing in Maine to give more residents a chance to voice their concerns and learn more about the proposal, an Air Force spokeswoman said Thursday. Details are expected to be released soon.

The public hearing process is required as the Air Force works to finalize an environmental impact statement for its effort to establish operational bases for the F-35 Lighting II fighter jet.

The Air Force is looking at several sites nationwide and considers the station in Burlington, Vt., as one of two preferred options, according to a draft environmental impact statement.

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer David F. Robinson can be contacted at 861-9287 or at

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