LePage opposes more low-level flight missions in Maine

Posted Aug. 21, 2011, at 4:07 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage is asking the Air National Guard to cancel plans to expand low-level training for fighter pilots over western Maine.

LePage told the National Guard and the Federal Aviation Administration that the expanded training area is a “want, not a need.” He also said the National Guard targeted Maine out of political expediency because it would be more difficult to expand training in upstate New York.

LePage’s letter, dated Friday, first was reported by the Sun Journal newspaper.

The Air National Guard is seeking additional airspace for training for homeland defense. Under the proposal, fighter jets from National Guard units in Massachusetts and Vermont would be allowed to fly as low as 500 feet over western Maine and a sliver of northern New Hampshire.

 

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