Aviation safety and wind farms: you be the judge

On Saturday, the London Free Press published a story about the letter from NAV Canada to the wind power developer planning a power project in East Oxford, near Woodstock, Ontario.
Though the letter to the developer lists several concerns about the impact of the wind power project on radar and airport operations, a NAV Canada official was quoted as saying the problems could be corrected simply with “software.”
We invite you to read the actual letter from NAV Canada here, and see if you are satisfied that the wind power developer could achieve the mitigation measures necessary to ensure safety. 14-0925 NAV Canada GunnsHill
Key points from the NAV Canada letter:
“We have evaluated the captioned proposal and our analysis shows that all 10 of the proposed turbines are visible to the London Radar while turbines 4-10 are visible to the Hamilton Radar and turbines 1-3 are marginally visible to the Hamilton Radar with the following impacts:
·         a number of nuisance (false) primary radar targets in the wind farm geographical limits and its immediate vicinity.
·         a reduction to our capability to identify and track primary surveillance targets in the above mentioned area.
·         a reduced capability to provide traffic information to our aviation customers when a primary only surveillance target (s) is in the area.
·         an increase in the controllers’ workload in the affected area, and
·         a decrease in flight safety for aircraft operating in the area, especially in adverse weather conditions.”
The community group in East Oxford also notes that emergency medical transport by air to and from the nearby Woodstock hospital could also be affected by this wind power project.
NAV Canada’s mission statement reads, “Safety is our first priority.”

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