By Sue Strom, Advocates of Safe Airport Policies (ASAP)
January 21, 2018 (El Cajon) -- We hope your year is off to a happy and healthy start. However, for those of us concerned about heavy local traffic, safety, noise, toxic air and lead overhead, with protections for homeowners few and far between, the new year is already daunting.
FAA approval for an increase in air traffic... a state of the art flight training center... the lengthening of the 27L training runway...the redesign and enlargement of the Bradley Street interchange off hwy 67... and the development of 9 five acre parcels of land for aviation usage called the Cajon Air Center are all coming together step by step over the next several years to form the perfect storm.
Increased Air Traffic — the FAA Demand/Capacity Analysis/Safety and Efficiency Study determined that if used efficiently, the 3 Gillespie Field runways are capable of safely handling a large increase in flight operations.
A state of the art Flight Training Center, Velocity Center of Excellence in Aviation LLC, is developing a leasehold at Gillespie Field. Scandinavian Aviation Academy (SAA) International Flight School will be working with the Boeing Pilot Development Program Training Network. They plan to train 150-200 students. For the full story, please visit the site below:
Embrey Riddle, the country’s premier flight training school, now has a presence at Gillespie Field. We contacted Bryan Dougherty, the dean of enrollment, who assured us Embrey Riddle will be maintaining storefront on line classrooms but will not be doing any flight training.
27L Runway Extension — according to the airport layout plan narrative runway 27L (the shorter training runway) will be extended 423’. Larger and faster aircraft need longer runways.
Bradley Interchange Enlargement — The County now has the funds needed to redesign and reconstruct the over burdened Bradley Interchange off hwy 67. This will improve traffic flow, which is good, but the 9 five acre parcels of land making up the Cabron Air Center to be opened for development will most likely draw much heavier local traffic than we deal with presently.
Cajon Air Center Airport Expansion — the 9 five acre parcels of land making up the Cabron Air Center to be opened for aviation type development will be taking place over the next several years. The developers chosen to lease these land parcels will be able to divide and sublease them for more aviation related businesses. The leases have no protections in them for communities already established close to the airport and there is no real opportunity for public input.
The takeaway is what it has been for several years. Residents must remain informed and diligent in order to protect the quality of their lives and the value of their homes.
On behalf of the ASAP Steering Committee,
Betty Chafetz and Sue Strom
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