The RAAF has said it will review the use of the Salt Ash weapons range just north of Williamtown after responses to its Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) draft Public Environment Report expressed concern over its continuing use and the affect of jet noise on the nearby communities of Medowie and Oyster Cove.
“The Department of Defence and the Air Force take the issue of aircraft noise very seriously,” Deputy Chief of Air Force, AVM Geoff Brown said in a statement. “This review will determine whether Air Force can decrease noise impact on residents by changing the way the JSF will use the weapons range. With the JSF’s introduction, Defence is looking to balance the enhanced capability the JSF will provide with the environmental impact it will have. Changing the way we use the range will have an impact on RAAF Base Williamtown’s fast jet training capability and this review will determine whether that is viable and sustainable.”
The F-35 JSF with its 42,000lb thrust F135 engine is expected to have much higher noise levels than the current fleets of F/A-18A/B Hornets and Hawk 127s.