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Roar of U.S. naval jets flies into controversy over B.C.

01/09/2015 08:14 EST | Updated 03/11/2015 05:59 EDT
Friday is the last chance for comments on U.S. navy's plans to increase its Whidbey Island fleet of jets that British Columbians say is already too noisy. 

The navy wants up to three dozen more planes on the base. 

For years the rumbling sound was a mystery to residents from Greater Victoria to the Gulf Islands. 

Kathleen Gibson lives in Oak Bay, B.C., 50 kilometres across open water from the American airbase, and is very familiar with the sound.  

"Very low frequency rumbling. You can feel the house kind of shaking. You have that few seconds of thinking 'Oh, God is this an earthquake," Gibson said.  

Eventually, it was discovered the noise was coming from twin-engine EA-18 Growler jets based on Whidbey Island since 2008. 

Complaints spike when the planes practice carrier landings. 

"That is anywhere from three to five planes doing repetitive pattern operations for a couple of hours or more," said U.S. navy spokesperson Tom Brown. 

The navy has held open houses and carried out public consultation about its proposal on Whidbey Island.

But the process may not have been advertised north of the border, Brown said.

Canadians can comment on the proposal through a website but there isn't much time left. 

    
 

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