Under the FAA Aviation Cooperation Program, the agency is cooperating with China, South America, Korea, and countries in the Middle East to build their aviation systems. As part of the program, general aviation airports, like Gillespie, are being used as training grounds for hundreds of thousands of student pilots from developing nations...non-NATO countries like China included. 

Recently, after over 25,000 out-of-country student pilots (many from non-NATO countries) had been trained in the US, the GAO reported the vetting process for these students was flawed. Although attempts have been made to fix the process, the system can never be fullproof. We don't seem to have learned much from 9/11.

Recently, Supervisor Diane Jacob asked the Board of Supervisors to support a bill to tighten security on vetting student pilots and they agreed

Gillespie is located on terrain unique to most airports because it is situated almost 400 feet above sea level and surrounded on three sides by heavily populated, rugged terrain. Its airspace is squeezed and crowded. Radar coverage is not complete. There have been two mid-air collisions in our neighborhoods resulting in four aircraft destroyed and four deaths!

To report low flying planes, please use this form or contact Catherine Johnson, Assistant Airport Manager, directly at 619.956.4810.  Also contact the FAA at 858.502.9882.

Bill Ray May 21, 2013

After hearing your presentation at the Eucalyptus Hills Landowner\'s meeting on 5/9/13, I wrote to our Congressman Duncan Hunter the following: I have recently become aware of the increased use of Gillespie Field for flight training by foreign students, some of whom come from non-NATO countries. We are all too familiar with the terrorist scenarios of releasing biological agents from the air. Just a few days ago in New York, a Muslim man was arrested for " planning to kill as many as 100,000 people by contaminating the air or water supply in a major U.S. city." Are our memories that short about 9-11 terrorists receiving flight training here in the U.S.? What vetting process is being employed here? It would seem that San Diego would be a prime target with the size of our military presence here and the thousands of sub-contractors. East County is certainly at risk here, and would make an easy target for contaminating our air and water supplies. There are 100,000 residents in El Cajon, 50,000 in Lakeside, and another 50,000 in Santee, all within a mile or two of Gillespie Field. The high density of Downtown San Diego, just 15 miles away, would also be a prime target. Our borders are way too porous, and a flight school for foreigners is way too close to home, *Article: Tunisian Man Accused in Terror Cell Plot

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