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Wind Energy Development
Strathaven Airfield is just a few miles away from Whitelee, one of Europe's largest onshore wind farms, and our part of the country is a very attractive area for wind energy development.
Aviation and the wind energy industry work very closely to ensure we safely co-exist and the UK Civil Aviation Authority has produced guidance documents, such as CAP 764: Policy Guidelines on Wind Turbines, to help pilots, airfield operators and developers operate safely.
Due to our location, Strathaven Airfield's flying instructors are probably the world's most experienced pilots regarding safe recreational flying in the vicinity of wind turbines. The airfield has also been host to several radar experiments aimed at mitigating the effect of wind turbines on air traffic control.
The result of our experience has been to develop a simple calculation to give a rough guide as to whether a proposed wind energy development would impact safe operations.
In effect, we ask developers to draw a circle with a 20 rotor diameter radius around their nearest turbine and to draw a second circle with a 2km radius around the airfield midpoint. If the two circles overlap, there is a potential safety issue for us and we may raise an objection to the proposal.
However, there may be other aspects - such as cumulative impact - to be considered. So we would always prefer to discuss proposals, in complete confidence, at their earliest stages.
Developers may also be interest in planning application EK/11/0377 for two turbines at Covenanter House and EK/12/0233 and EK/13/0154 at Rigfoot where refusals on the grounds of aviation safety were upheld at appeal.