VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (RNN) - At the time of the fiery jet crash near Virginia Beach, VA, the Navy had tabled plans to move the airfield to an area farther removed from civilian populations.
According to the Virginia Pilot, the Navy had plans to move the landing field, but the plan became hung up over whether the new field would be used for new fighter jets. Plans to move the airfield were pushed back to 2014.
Residents surrounding Oceana Naval Air Station and Fentress Naval Auxiliary Landing Field in Chesapeake, VA, had complained for years the noise from the jets lowered their property values.
After 2,000 property owners filed individual lawsuits over the claims, the Navy settled with the plaintiffs for $34.4 million. Attempts to certify a class action lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in April 2001, were denied.
Oceana Naval Air Station was commissioned in 1943, when most of the surrounding land was farmland or swamp. According to the Oceana website, the base has 7 miles of runways.
When the fighter jet crashed into an apartment complex near Virginia Beach, VA, on Friday, Fentress had been closed for maintenance work.
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