It appears Transport Canada hasn’t issued an official order to GDF SUEZ Canada to remove eight turbines south of the Chatham-Kent Municipal Airport.
The company recently contacted The Chatham Daily News to state it has not received an “order” from Transport Canada.
According to the latest response to The Chatham Daily News from Transport Canada, the agency is requesting “voluntary compliance” with the regulations and will work with the company to set a practical deadline. No decision has been made on a date.
At the same time, the response reads: “Transport Canada requires the lowering or removal of the eight wind turbines that were constructed in the area protected under the Chatham Airport zoning regulations.”
David Timm, GDF SUEZ Canada vice-president, told The Daily News on Wednesday: “We’re in discussions with Transport Canada on the matter and the other agencies that have jurisdiction over the issue.”
He said those discussions will continue, adding he can’t get into the specifics of the discussions “because of the sensitivity of the issue.”
According to Transport Canada, eight wind turbines violate height limits on lands at the Chatham-Kent Municipal Airport, which are subject to the airport zoning regulations.
“Transport Canada is enforcing the safety rules and requires the removal of the impeding wind turbines,” said agency spokeswoman Tina Morris, in a recent e-mail to The Daily News.
She said federal airport zoning regulations at the airport protect a radius of approximately four kilometres around the airport. The AZR protect the operations of an airport and help ensure that development surrounding the airport remains compatible with the safe operation of aircraft and the airport itself. These regulations include obstacle height restrictions.
Morris said that on two occasions prior to the installation of the wind turbines, Transport Canada advised the wind farm representatives that height restrictions are in effect in the area around the airport.
“While Transport Canada is willing to work with the wind turbine company to set a practical deadline, the impeding turbines must be removed,” said Morris.
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