Soaring with Success after F-35A Public Hearings

Successfully communicating the intricacies of a detailed environmental analysis to one community can be challenging. Communicating the results of the Air Force’s F-35A analyses in a tailored way to multiple communities throughout the western United States brings another level of complexity and requires a thorough understanding of the most effective ways to involve a diverse set of stakeholders.

The F-35A aircraft is intended to be the U.S. Air Force’s premier strike aircraft through the middle of this century. Adequate facilities, airspace, airfields and military ground ranges are essential to trainingF-35A pilots and personnel, and the Katz& Associates team has been coordinating the public involvement process for four potential locations.

For a variety of reasons, there has been a combination of community enthusiasm and concern associated with the F-35A aircraft and training. Since 2010, the Air Force has addressed some of the concerns by evaluating the environmental impacts associated with basing F-35A training facilities and aircraft at candidate locations, including the following:

  • Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico
  • Luke Air Force Base in Arizona
  • Tucson International Airport Air Guard Station in Arizona
  • Boise Air Terminal Airport Guard Station in Idaho

The results of the environmental analysis were released to the public through the F-35A Training Basing Draft Environmental Impact Statement in January 2012. Aware of the high level of interest in the program and concerns about noise impacts, the Air Force implemented a proactive effort to share technical information and invite public comment on the analysis. Katz & Associates coordinated extensive stakeholder outreach and public involvement efforts, including strategic planning, message development and alignment, notifications, public meeting logistics coordination, informational materials development and much more.

In February 2012, more than 2,000 people in 13 cities throughout New Mexico, Arizona and Idaho attended the Air Force’s public hearings. The meetings were well attended by a range of stakeholders, including elected officials, agency representatives and residents. The public meetings received significant media attention, and contributed to providing timely information to the broader public.

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For more information, please contact Allison Turner,