Introduction to Australia’s F-35A Lightning II EIS Project
This site has been established to provide information about the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process Defence has commenced for the flying operations of the F-35A Lightning II (commonly known as the Joint Strike Fighter) aircraft.
In 1999, the Australian Department of Defence established the New Air Combat Capability (NACC) Project to investigate aircraft options to replace the current fleets of F-111 and F/A-18A/B Hornet aircraft.
In 2002, after having reviewed the full range of combat aircraft available, Australia was the eighth (and last) country to join the US in the development and demonstration phase of the multi-national Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program.
In 2009, the Australian Government approved acquisition of the first consignment of 14 F-35A aircraft, as well as supporting systems and weapons. In April 2014, the Government approved the acquisition of an additional 58 aircraft, bringing the total fleet on order to 72 F-35A aircraft. The first aircraft will arrive in Australia at RAAF Base Williamtown in late 2018, with the complete fleet arriving by 2022.
The Government’s investment in acquiring Australia’s next generation of air combat capability could be one of the top two defence capability outlays in Australia’s history.
The Draft EIS was released for public comment on 21 July 2014. The public consultation period was set by the Department of the Environment at 9 weeks, and closed on 19 September 2014. The Draft EIS remains available for viewing; please click here.
Please click here to view a copy of the Draft EIS executive summary.
On 2 April 2015, the Supplementary Report to the Draft EIS was released. The purpose of this report was to identify and address issues raised in public submissions regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the flying operations of the F-35A aircraft. The Supplementary Report is available for viewing and download here.
Together with the Draft EIS, this Supplementary Report formed the Final EIS submitted for assessment by the Minister for the Environment. This assessment has been completed, and the final decision was published on 17 July 2015. The approval decision is available for viewing here.