Don’t be alarmed: The jets are coming back to Palm Springs

It’s been nearly a year since the Department of Defense announced it would cut back on the amount of military jets flying into Palm Springs International Airport following uproar from Palm Springs residents who were sick of the flyovers in their neighborhoods.

Since that March announcement, a few jets have stopped by here and there as part of training missions and refueling.

But over the next month, beginning on Wednesday, about 18 T-45 “Goshawk” trainer jets from Navy Training Air Wing 2 based in Kingsville, Texas, will visit off and on between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., the Navy announced Friday. They’ll temporarily operate out of Naval Air Facility El Centro.

PHOTOS: T-45C Goshawk jet fighter trainers at Palm Springs airport in April 2012

Palm Springs International Airport will be used for refueling, so we can expect to hear and see about three jets a day, the Navy said in its email announcement to The Desert Sun.

This will be a different set of military jets than those that used to fly into the airport. Those were based at the Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar near San Diego.

PHOTOS: Military jets flying into Palm Springs in 2011 amid complaints

At the time, Coachella Valley residents increasingly expressed concerns about the noise from military jets as their activity at the airport had spiked.

There were 2,202 military flights in and out of Palm Springs in 2011 — nearly double what was reported in 2008 and a nearly 58 percent jump from the 1,397 flights in 2010.

The Marine Corps has used the Palm Springs airport because of its “excellent service” as a contracted fuel provider and because the airport is close to key training areas, Defense officials told then-Rep. Mary Bono Mack after she brought the matter to their attention.

The Marines made use of the airport one of its “best practices” last year, defense officials told Bono Mack at the time.

The latest training activity begins Wednesday and is expected to run through Feb. 1, the Navy said.

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Three F-18s were lined up on the tarmac behind Atlantic Air at the Palm Springs International Airport on July 1,2011.The planes were on a training stop-over. The noise from military jets flying into and out of the airport had become a point of controversy within the community.

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About James Meier

I'm James Meier, a 15-year journalism veteran, who's spent the past nearly seven years at The Desert Sun and in Palm Springs, Calif. I grew up in Orange County, spent many years reporting and editing there, and am enjoying working in the desert. I'm now the Senior Editor of Business, Data and Education. Reach me at or on Twitter @tdsJamesMeier