As a joint-use military and civilian airport, the 115th Fighter Wing operates and shares the airfield with Dane County Regional Airport. With that, commercial, private and military aircraft from around the country use the field with the predominant military aircraft being the F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 115th Fighter Wing, and the UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter assigned to 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment.
The 115th Fighter Wing typically executes a routine flying schedule of two sorties per weekday, at approximately 10am and 1pm, four days per week and one Saturday per month. These numbers do vary from time to time, and you can sign up for notifications to routine flight deviations.
In addition, the 115th routinely conducts training flights in support of a national Aerospace Control Alert mission, which if activated, provides the capability to intercept, inspect, influence and if necessary, defeat a potential airborne threat to North America 24/7.
Routine training missions are vital not only to pilot qualifications but maintenance and support personnel proficiency as well. Upon departure from Truax Field, the F-35s from the 115th Fighter Wing typically execute their training in the Volk Airspace Military Operations Area, located north of Madison in central Wisconsin.
This area provides unique and diverse combat readiness training opportunities with an Air-to-Ground Weapons Range, dedicated military airfield and restricted airspace for safer flight operations. It typically takes our pilots less than 10 minutes to reach their training destination and begin training.
Dane County Regional Airport / Truax Field is located within FAA controlled airspace where both civilian and military pilots must follow all Air Traffic Control directions. To the maximum extent possible, pilots assigned to the 115th Fighter Wing will depart to the North and land to the South in an effort to fly over less densely populated areas of the city. However, weather, wind and/or other aviation traffic in the area may cause deviations in the routine flight paths. All flight patterns are dictated and tailored to the safety and operational standards set by the Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Air Force.
Weather can change the various procedures and flight path directions for the local airport traffic pattern. Rain, thunderstorms and low cloud cover can also trap and amplify sounds created by aircraft operating near the airfield.
The minimum safe altitude set by the FAA is 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle when flying over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons except when necessary for takeoff or landing. All pilots assigned to the 115th Fighter Wing comply with all U.S. Air Force and Federal Aviation Administration Regulations, as well as local noise abatement procedures which restrict military aircraft to remain 2,000 ft above ground level except when necessary for takeoff or landing.
To the maximum extent possible, pilots assigned to the 115th Fighter Wing will depart to the north, land to the south and maintain an altitude higher than FAA minimums to minimize noise and address community concerns. Being in controlled airspace, the 115th Fighter Wing’s arrival and departure procedures are coordinated and directed with the Federal Aviation Administration and Air Traffic Control at Dane County Regional Airport. With that, operational, safety and/or weather conditions may require military pilots to deviate from routine flight paths.
The base also observes quiet hours from 10:30 PM until 6:00 AM. Although uncommon, military flights can be approved during quiet hours based on mission requirements and you can sign up for flight deviation notifications here.
When deployed overseas, the 115th Fighter Wing provides close air support to ground personnel and must remain proficient in night flying to successfully accomplish the mission. While night flying isn’t a common occurrence, 115th Fighter Wing pilots and crews are required to train at night to maintain readiness and all-weather capabilities. We limit night operations to what is required and use advanced devices such as night vision goggles. When on a night schedule, flying is anticipated to be completed before 11:00 p.m. and residents can be notified by signing up for flight notifications.
Log the date, time, location, direction of flight, how many aircraft you saw and a brief description of what they looked like -- one or two tails, color, jet or propeller, etc. You may submit the information online or to the 115th Fighter Wing Noise Concern Hotline at (608) 245-4395.
115th Fighter Wing Public Affairs personnel will log your concern into a database and review that at the end of the month with personnel assigned to the 115th Operations Group. With your information we will be able to pinpoint specific areas of concern(s) and work to prevent events that are out of the ordinary from reoccurring.