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Wind farms v aircraft ?

9th June, 2009

The development of new larger wind farms could pose a danger to planes unless radar systems are adapted. 

Alternatively, aircraft can stop wind farms being built and thus impede UK action on fuel security and climate change.

There is concern among proponents of wind farms about schemes being prevented because they confuse radar on aircraft and on the ground. 

A NATS (National Air Traffic Services) spokesperson said they had blocked less than 10% of proposed wind farms, with concerns centred on larger wind farms.

NATS said: “We only object to a small number of proposals that are assessed as being within line of radar sight; our primary duty is to protect the safety and integrity of of the air traffic control system and we will make representations where we believe there is a safety risk. Of course, we recognise the benefits of wind turbines and renewable energy ..”

Help may be at hand to resolve this conundrum. Raytheon, the world’s largest manufacturer of radar systems, has a project to design a new radar system that avoids the probem of interference from wind farms. Raytheon hopes to complete the project by the end of 2010.

(Information from Daily Telegraph)