Environmentalists have dismissed allegations that their initiative to cut noise pollution from fighter jets over tourist areas is a threat to Switzerland's armed forces.This content was published on January 18, 2008 - 17:48
They said the F/18 fighter aircraft were among the noisiest fighter jets. Parliament and the government have come out against the initiative, which will be put to a nationwide vote on February.
Franz Weber, the man behind the initiative, said on Friday that not only the noise from the jets but also the air pollution they cause were intolerable for both people and animals in alpine regions of the country.
The Swiss army operates three military airports at Meiringen, Payerne and Sion, from where aircraft take off for flights mainly over the Alps.
Opponents of the initiative say the proposal fuels the aims of pacifists who want to abolish the Swiss armed forces.
The Swiss air force has a fleet of 87 fighter jets which recorded a total of 22,250 flight movements in 2006, mainly for training purposes, but also policing the air space.
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