Navy wants public's thoughts on new jet at Beaufort air base

BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) - The Navy wants to know what people think about plans to bring new F-35 jets to the Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station on the South Carolina coast.

The Beaufort Gazette reports a public hearing is being held on Tuesday in Beaufort. Experts will be on hand to discuss concerns about noise and defense contractor Lockheed Martin will show a cockpit simulator for the jet known as the Joint Strike Fighter.

An environmental statement released by the Navy last month proposes Beaufort receive 88 of the new jets to replace its F-18 Hornets.

That could mean almost $352 million in construction at the base during the next five years. The number of takeoffs and landings each year would almost double from 55,000 to about 98,000.

Information from: The Beaufort Gazette,

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.