The US Air Force announced that Luke Air Force Base outside of Phoenix is on the preferred list to receive the new, F-35 fighter plane. That means that 162 Fighter Wing based at Tucson International Airport will not be getting the planes in the near future.
The unit at TIA is part of the Arizona Air National Guard and was hoping to have the planes assigned to it as a training unit. Right now the 162nd trains pilots to fly the F-16, but that aircraft is slowly being phased out. Officials with the 162nd, however, say they are still confident that the F-35’s will eventually come to Tucson, just not right away. When the proposal to base F-35’s in Tucson was first announced there was some vocal opposition. The biggest problem is noise, opponents to the plane point out that it is much noisier than the F-16.