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Christina Gordon / Clarion

Protestors march past the Madison College Truax Campus on their way to the airport in opposition to plans to bring F-35 fighter jets to the Dane County Regional Airport.

Anica Graney, Managing Editor

On Feb. 29, a large group of Madison community members spent their leap day gathered outside the Madison College Truax campus to protest the incoming F-35 fighter jets the Air Force wants to station at the Dane County Regional Airport.

 As any student, teacher, or worker of the Truax campus will tell, it is not uncommon to hear loud jets fly overhead during the school day.

Some community members have been up in arms about these proposed F-35 fighter jets since the announcement was first made in the fall, fearing the devaluation of their property and disruption of daily life made by the louder fighter jets.

A large group started to form around 11:45 a.m. along Anderson Street near the Wright Street intersection. Large signs, megaphones, and a variety of instruments accompanied the protesters as they made their way along Wright Street in between the Health and Information Technology building and the main Truax building.

The protest lasted about 45 minutes and was policed by the Madison Police Department. Madison College had no affiliation with any regulation or contribution towards the protest.

A concerned community member who was a part of the protest shared her thoughts with the Clarion.

“This whole housing area is going to have to move, my sister’s property is going to go down in value, thousands of people are going to be affected, and they claim it’s for jobs which I’ve heard is a total misnomer, very misleading and dishonest. The military has a statement (in their proposal) that they’ll go where the least impact is and there’s tons of impact here so they’re actually breaking their own rules by coming here,” she said.

“It’s a terrible spot for new, extremely loud, obnoxious, military planes to be coming in. And the planes now are so disturbing. It wakes little kids from naps. And I’ve gone to (city council) meetings and complained and they say things like, ‘yeah, we’re not supposed to fly over your neighborhoods’ and it’s like, well, why are you doing that?”

Despite efforts made by these community members, Madison remains a preferred location as of the latest update from the Air Force. However, they are still a few years off from action with projections for arrival starting in spring 2023.