FAA

FLETHER HILLS RESIDENTS PLAN LAWSUIT OVER GILLESPIE FLIGHT SCHOOL TRAINING AND LEAD POLLUTION

 

East County News Service

March 4 meeting planned for Fletcher Hills residents with attorneys

February 25, 2015 (El Cajon) – Fletcher Hills residents are planning a lawsuit over loss of property values, quality of life and lead pollution associated with increased air traffic at Gillespie Field Airport.

HUESO ASKS FAA TO GRANT RELIEF TO OCOTILLO RESIDENTS FROM WIND TURBINE LIGHTS, APPROVE RADAR-ACTIVATED LIGHTING

 

 

 

 

FAA may approve radar lighting systems, but won’t require Pattern to install

By Miriam Raftery

March 30, 2014 (Ocotillo) – State Senator Ben Hueso has taken heed of his constituents’ complaints about flashing red lights on wind turbines shining into people’s homes at night.  In a February 10, 2014 letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Hueso wrote that flashing red lights on over 100 turbines, each taller than a 40 story building, are harmful to the health of Ocotillo residents.

“As most of them live within two miles of these turbines, the steady light transmitted from these structures is causing them to suffer from migraines, vertigo and loss of sleep,”  Hueso wrote. He added that his staff has looked into the issue and found studies indicated that “residents living in such c lose proximity to turbines often suffer from illnesses including chronic sleep deprivation, hypertension and heart attack. Ocotillo is made up largely of senior citizens, a group which has been found to be exceptionally sensitive to the effects of the turbines.”

READER'S EDITORIAL: TARGETED BY A DRONE CULTURE

 

By Lisa Elkins

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has resolved to push ahead with a plan to expand its drone combat weapons system despite the malfunctioning drone that injured two last Saturday on the USS Chancellorsville’s last Saturday off the coast of San Diego. The $4 million aerial and subsonic target drone, Chukar (BQM-74E), which was manufactured by Aerospace giant Northrop Grumman, capable of speeds up to 604 mph, had veered out of control during an operation test. Luckily only two sailors out of the 300 crew members aboard the ship were injured after it was struck by the drone. Investigators at the Naval Base were unable to say why the drone lost control and crashed.

This is the second drone crash to occur in the past week after another unmanned craft malfunctioned and came down over Lake Ontario on Tuesday, prompting the suspension of all drone flights in Central New York.

FAA TIGHTENS REGULATION OF FOREIGN PILOT TRAINING AFTER CRASHES

 

Instructors blow whistle on safety concerns at U.S. flight schools

By Miriam Raftery

November 19, 2013 (El Cajon ) – An investigative report by an  NBC TV station in the Bay area adds fuel to concerns raised by East County residents over the safety of foreign pilot training at Gillespie Field.  The NBC investigation, titled “Foreign Airline Pilots, U.S. Flight Schools: Do they get enought raining time in cockpit?” has prompted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to announce tighter regulations of  training of foreign pilots at American flight schools.

In the U.S., pilots train for years in either the military of general aviation, or both, to gain at least 1,500 hours of flight time before being allowed into the cockpit of a commercial jetliner.  But the FAA gave out 4,820 license to foreign pilots last year alone – pilots who came here from Asia or other places to train, many with zero flight experience.

BILL TO REGULATE DRONES, PROTECT PRIVACY INTRODUCED

By Miriam Raftery

November 7, 2013 (Washington D.C.) –The Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act was introduce November 4 in the Senate.

“The FAA’s plan falls far short of putting in place the necessary privacy protections for the commercialization of drone use in U.S. airspace,” Senator Ed Markey (D-MA)said in a statement. “This disregard for the need for strong and comprehensive privacy safeguards underscores why we must pass federal legislation to protect innocent individuals from expanded use of commercial and government drones.”

Markey said that his legislation requires transparency on the domestic use of drones and adds privacy protections that will “ensure this technology cannot and will not be used to spy on Americans.” Markey’s bill would require law enforcement agencies to acquire warrants before they use drones to conduct surveillance.  A copy of his bill can be viewed here. 

LIGHTS OFF IN OCOTILLO: OUTAGE RAISES QUESTIONS OVER AIR SAFETY

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 25, 2013 (Ocotillo) – Wind turbines in Ocotillo went offline on October 21 for several days due to SDG&E maintenance on Sunrise Powerlink, according to Matt Dallas with Pattern Energy .  Flashing red lights on the turbines that normally warn aircraft of the 500-foot-tall structures have also been dark, raising questions of safety for pilots at the site near the Borrego airport.

BID TO SAVE RAMONA AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL FAILS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 1, 2013 (Ramona) – Responding to long lines at airports across the nation, Congress passed legislation on April 26 to restore funding for air traffic controllers at many major airports. But wording that would have saved the air traffic control tower at Ramona Airport was removed, ECM has learned.

“While I welcome the news that Congress moved to prevent harmful cuts in the FAA budget, I’m extremely disappointed that wording aimed at saving the Ramona Airport tower and other towers was stripped from the legislation,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

COUNTY SUPERVISORS BACK BIPARTISAN BILLS TO SAVE RAMONA AIRPORT TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER

 

Congressional legislation aims to halt June 15 closure of FAA tower, others

County  News Service

April 23, 2013 (San Diego)--The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday (4/23) urged federal lawmakers to approve pending legislation in Congress that would save the Ramona Airport traffic control tower. The board, on a 5-0 vote, endorsed a pair of bipartisan federal bills that would halt the June 15 closure of the East County facility, along with nearly 150 other towers funded by the Federal Aviation Administration.

FAA POSTPONES CLOSURE OF AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWERS UNTIL JUNE 15, WANTS COUNTY TO TAKEOVER OPERATIONS

April 5, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) --The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that it will delay the closures of all 149 federal contract air traffic control towers from April 7 until June 15, including the Ramona Airport and Brown Field locally. The agency says the extra  time will allow the FAA to try and resolve multiple legal challenges to the closures.

 “The FAA delay is not good enough,” Supervisor Dianne Jacob said in a press statement issued this morning.  “U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today that safety is the FAA’s top priority. If that was the case, the federal government shouldn’t even be talking about pulling air controllers out of Ramona. The tower is on the front line of public safety in our region, and closing it would a disaster, especially as we approach the height of the wildfire season.”

SHUT DOWN: FAA CONFIRMS CLOSURE OF CONTROL TOWERS AT RAMONA AIRPORT AND BROWN FIELD

By Miriam Raftery

March 22, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Today the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed closure of 149 air traffic control towers due to sequestration cuts that are mandated due to Congress failing to agree on how to balance the federal budget.  That includes towers at Ramona Airport in East County and Brown Field in Otay Mesa, both slated to shut down starting April 7.

Closure of the Ramona facility had sparked widespread protests from local officials and the public, who had urged the FAA to keep the tower open to assure protection of firefighters at the backcountry airport.

SUSAN DAVIS MEETS WITH FAA REPRESENTATIVES REGARDING GILLESPIE FIELD

March 3, 2013 (El Cajon) – Congresswoman Susan Davis called representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration to her Washington office to share constituent concerns with Gillespie Field flight paths.  Neighbors of Gillespie Field in El Cajon have complained of increased flight traffic, noise, and low-altitude flights.

“As discussion of Gillespie Field development continues, Congresswoman Davis is looking to balance economic expansion in El Cajon and East County with quality of life near the airport,” said Aaron Hunter, spokesperson for the Congresswoman.

The meeting was informational, though no course of action has yet transpired, he advised.

READER’S EDITORIAL: STOP EXPANSION OF FLIGHT SCHOOLS AT GILLESPIE FIELD

By Sue Strohm, Advocates for Safe Airport Policies (ASAP) Steering Committee

October 24, 2012 (El Cajon)--Over the next year or so (over the objection of large numbers of County residents) the County Airports system will initially be digging up the former El Cajon Speedway and turning 21.5 acres (of the approved 70 acre parcel) of County airport land into the Cajon Flight Center. 

ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

 
 
February 16, 2012 --  (San Diego’s East County) – ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflecting all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:    
 
WORLD 
 
  • Israelis: Iran behind Bangkok bombings: coordinated attacks around the world (CNN)
  • Israel warns US Jews: Iran could attack here (ABC)
  • Heightened security in U.S. over Iran threat (ABC) 
 U.S. 
  • Congressional negotiators reach tentative deal on payroll tax, unemployment benefits (Washington Post)
  • Lobbyists sue Obama administration after being booted from boards (The Hill)
  • Obama signs $63B FAA funding bill into law (The Hill)
  • U.S. seeks to mine social media to predict future (UT San Diego)
 
Health   
  • Alzheimer’s brain plaque ‘rapidly cleared’ in mice (BBC)
  • How your cat is making you crazy (Atlantic)
 
Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories. 

FAA ISSUES STATEMENT ON SKY CRANE DROPPING POWERLINK TOWERS

 

June 16, 2011 (San Diego) The FAA has sent a written statement in response to an ECM inquiry for information on the two SDG&E Sunrise Powerlink towers dropped by a sky crane helicopter June 7 and June 10. The statement indicates a replacement helicopter has arrived in San Diego and will undergo tests Monday in Imperial County.

 

The FAA also indicates sky cranes are not certified to fly over occupied populated areas when carrying heavy loads.  The spokesman, Ian Gregor, later clarified in an e-mail that "a lift could occur over a populated area if that were absolutely necessary. However, nobody unessential to the operation could be on the ground below while the lift took place, and the lift could not take place directly over homes."

 

Below is the statement in full received this afternoon from Gregor, public information manager at the FAA Pacific Division: