The Complete Picture

Prince “Turbine” County!

Aviation

Introduction

I am not fully aware of all local and Canadian planning law regarding the siting of obstacles near airfields, but I do know – from my experience as a commercial airline pilot, and of my knowledge of UK regulations – that guidelines will exist.

In Prince Edward County there are two active airfields, with three other airfields close by.

Picton Airport, situated on the top of a hill to the south of the town of Picton has general aviation and gliding activities. General Aviators are potentially at higher risk of incidents involving tall industrial wind turbines due to operating under Visual Flight Rules, relying on visual navigation in uncontrolled airspace, often lower experience and training. 

CFD Mountain View (info link) at 362′ amsl has an important role in training Canadian Armed Forces in a variety of airborne operations. We often see aeroplanes engaged in these training sorties flying over our Farm.

There are also close by airfields at CFB Trenton (Military) and Kingston. Aeroplanes for the latter two airfields are vectored by Air Traffic Control and are of sufficient height that the industrial wind turbines would not affect, although if an industrial wind turbine was to become the highest structure within a certain range and sector it would effect the Minimum Safe Altitude which could have a theoretical impact on operational capabilities and airport procedures.

It is important that the health and safety of aircrew, passengers and people on the ground is not put at risk by the placing of wind turbines such that either the turbine structure, or the wake they create increases the chance of a collision or accident.

There have been two recorded fatal collisions, one with an industrial  wind turbine and another with an unmarked anemometer mast. There have also been parachute fatalities involving industrial wind turbines.

 

My Questions

  • Picton Airport and CFD Mountain View are used for a range of activities including gliding, parachuting and military training. Can the council advise what the obstacle planning criteria it uses around these airfields?
  • Has the council reviewed these planning requirements in the light of the obstacle presence, dynamic nature, electromagnetic fields, radar interference and wake issues generated by industrial size wind turbines such that the health and safety of aircrew, passengers and people on the ground will not experience increased risk as a result of collisions with new structures or wake turbulence incidents.
  • That although Picton airport may be seen as small, does the council consider that the facility provides an opportunity to assist in the economic development of the area in the future?
  • Does the council understand that whilst commercial airports may be able to deal with obstacle infringements by changing the airspace, this is not possible around visual operating airports like picton and where military tactical training may be required in the future, including low level flying, parachuting etc?
  • Would the council agree that No Industrial Wind Turbines or Anemometer masts shall be placed in such a location that would compromise the operational training requirements that are currently, or may in future be required, for example within a specific radius from Mountain View?
  • That all anemometer masts be fully notified to relevant aviation authorities for including on obstacle charts, and that they are not erected until full approval has been given / location promulgated if they infringe airspace
  • Can you explain the lighting requirements for these obstacles, and what colour lights are at various times of day / night?
  • Can you comment on the implications of a “Medevac” situation at a Prince Edward County location, possibly in bad weather or due to a complicated injury that requires off county medical care involving the requirement of a rescue helicopter. Are you aware of the operational limits Industrial Wind Turbines place on the such critical and life saving helicopter operations due to both structure and wake turbulence? (personal conversation with helicopter crew)
  • Will the council address the matter that the PEC planning officers had no knowledge of potential conflicts between industrial wind turbines and airport operations. (personal phone call)
Sources

Please Note the Following

  • All answers provide an honest attempt by myself – Steven Draper – to understand the global, national and local issues surrounding industrial wind turbines. While I do hope they open the your eyes and minds to issues over which I have concern, I take no responsibility for decisions that you or other parties make on the basis of my information I provide. Please do your own evaluation of research – or do your own, draw your own conclusions, take ownership of your personal decisions regarding the subject
  • As further information becomes available answers may change to reflect the nature of this information. Information may be changed, amended or deleted at any time.
  • If you have further information that you would like me to read please let me know via comments or email.
  • Where links are given I cannot be held responsible for the content of these sites. Please let me know of any bad links or unexpected third party content!
  • Most pages provide opportunity to leave your own comments, please do so and feel free to ask further questions of me. If my answers are thin, I’d like to review and strengthen the

 

Advertisements

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: