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Turbine risk to aircraft  

Credit:  Lynn News, www.lynnnews.co.uk 4 October 2011 ~~

Building a wind turbine at a farm in Fincham would cause unacceptable interference to precision radar at RAF Marham, West Norfolk Development Control Board heard yesterday.

A report to board members said no objections had been received to the proposed generator at Ravens Farm except for detailed concerns submitted by the Ministry of Defence.

The meeting heard the height of the turbine would be just under 15 metres to the hub. The location would be 6.4km from RAF Marham and in the line of sight of air traffic control at the base.

The report said it could cause desensitisation of radar and create “false” aircraft returns, which controllers had to treat as real. Real aircraft returns could also be obscured, making tracking more difficult.

The effect on Precision Approach Radar was a serious concern. “This is a highly accurate radar used to guide aircraft down in inclement weather. The accuracy and integrity of this radar is critical as aircraft must be controlled in descent and very close to the ground,” said the report.

Wind turbines in line of sight could lead to aircraft disappearing from the radar. They could also generate “false plots” which used up processing ability.

Members heard the turbine was unlikely to result in significant harm to the countryside, amenity or ecology but agreed there was a fundamental safety objection to the plan.

The application had failed to demonstrate that the generator would not have an unacceptable impact on air traffic control or precision approach radar at Marham.

Source:  Lynn News, www.lynnnews.co.uk 4 October 2011

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