Local Military News

Beaufort County residents might hear more fighter jets for the next year. Here’s why

F/A-18s launch and refuel, mid-air

Footage supplied by the U.S. Navy
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Footage supplied by the U.S. Navy

Beaufort County residents could hear more noise overhead during the next year.

More aircraft than usual will be stationed at the Marine Corps air base and a change in flight patterns should mean more planes in the sky, local officials say.

All five F/A-18 fighter jet squadrons are home at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and are expected to be for the next 10 months to a year. With more aircraft at the base, nearby residents can expect more air traffic, a Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce news release said.

The air station’s main runway is expected to close for repairs in late spring or early summer and the work is expected to last a year. With the alternate runway, parts of Beaufort County and the city of Beaufort should see and hear more training flights.

Jet noise has long been an issue among area residents.

Runway repairs in 2016 caused more traffic over the city of Beaufort and led to calls for an alternate runway to move flights away from populated areas. A woman threatened to shoot down MCAS Beaufort jets last year because the noise was scaring her horses, authorities said at the time.

Airfield hours are typically from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. on Sunday, according to the air station website.

Information on flight patterns and jet noise is available through Beaufort County’s website at www.bcgov.net and on the MCAS Beaufort site, www.beaufort.marines.mil.

Before the main runway closes, the MCAS Beaufort Air Show will be April 27-28 and will include performances by the Blue Angels, the iconic U.S. Navy demonstration team.

Stephen Fastenau covers northern Beaufort County as a reporter for The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet, where he has worked since 2010 and been recognized with state and national awards. He studied journalism and political science at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and lives in Beaufort.
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