Air traffic controllers oppose a wind farm scheme – as they claim huge turbines look like planes on their radar screens.
The National Air Traffic Service says the blades of the 85 400ft towers would cause flight chaos because they reflect signals.
Officials at Prestwick Airport have backed the objection against engineering giant AMEC’s bid to site a wind farm at Dalmellington, East Ayrshire. Penny Guy, a spokesman for NATS, said: “If a radar mistakenly presents a turbine as a plane on the display a controller has little choice but to believe it.
By Mark Smith
Source: Daily Mirror (UK)
“Even if a controller can assume the signal has come from a wind turbine, numerous false signals have the potential to visually interfere with other information on display.”
Mark Rodwell, chief executive of Prestwick Airport said: “While we are not against wind farm developments there is a strong case why this should not proceed.”
AMEC’s original plans to build 100 turbines at the site were refused by East Ayrshire Council in 2001.
A revised plan for 85 turbines was rejected last month but the firm lodged an appeal with the Scottish Executive. A public inquiry was due to be heard this month but NATS has asked for more time to present its objections.
The inquiry has now been rescheduled for February 20.
David Hodkinson, managing director of AMEC’s wind energy business, said the wind farm would be a boost to the Ayrshire economy.
He added: “We understand the concerns and are continuing to work constructively with them to seek an acceptable solution.”
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