Atsugi F/A-18 training draws noise protest from city officials
Officials from Yamato city, located near Naval Air Facility Atsugi, on Thursday asked Navy officials to not let F/A-18s train the same hours as notified night-landing practice hours, a city official said Friday.
City officials handed a protest letter — addressed to Commander U.S. Naval Forces Japan Rear Adm. Frederic Ruehe and Atsugi commander Capt. Reed Eckstrom — claiming that several F/A-18 Hornets were conducting touch-and-gos from 6 p.m. to around 7 p.m. on Wednesday, which was the same time the NLP was set to take place.
“For such training, conducted by a type of aircraft that makes loud noise during the time notified to hold NLP, is no different from NLP being conducted for the residents living near the base and we are concerned that it could overturn the recognition that the NLP noise damage has been reduced because of efforts by Japan and U.S. officials,” the letter stated.
Atsugi spokesman Brian Naranjo confirmed base officials received the letter Wednesday.
“Without compromising our operational commitment, we take their concerns into consideration,” Naranjo said. He said the base always does as much as possible to reduce local communities’ discomforts.
The Navy had announced that night-landing practices would be held at Atsugi from 6-10 p.m. May 18-20.