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Wind company claims turbines won’t have economic impact to Collingwood airport

The proponents of a wind turbine project west of Stayner maintain the project will have a negligible affect on the regional airport and any neighbouring development proposals.

In an economic impact analysis prepared for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, WPD Canada asserted the location of turbines in relatively close proximity to the Collingwood Regional Airport would only affect about three flights out of more than 12,000 aircraft movements annually.

That includes aircraft that would be landing by visual approach as well as by instrumentation.

WPD’s report was submitted to the ministry on Nov. 9, and provided to Simcoe.com by the company.

WPD spokesperson Kevin Surrette said the report is an updated analysis of a similar review produced by the company three years ago.

The report also examined the impact of the Fairview Wind Project on the proposed Clearview Aviation Commerce Centre that would be next door to the airport, and determined “there is nothing to indicated that changes to the surrounding infrastructure and facilities … or attempts to change the regulatory status of the airfield would be negatively impacted by [Fairview Wind Project].”

A spokesperson for CACC has not yet responded to a request for comment by Simcoe.com.

WPD’s renewable energy application for the Fairview Wind project was accepted as complete by the MOECC in December 2013, but the company is still waiting on approval. In October, it filed suit against the ministry, and a court hearing will be held Dec. 18.

However, it’s expected the case will be remanded until sometime in 2016, as both Clearview Township and the Town of Collingwood have requested intervenor status. The two municipalities are also jointly doing their own economic impact analysis of the wind project on the airport and the Clearview Aviation Commerce Centre.

Airport officials have maintained the location of at least four of the 500-foot-tall turbines that would be located north of County Road 91 would have a detrimental effect on aviation. The closest turbines would be 3.66 and 3.82 kilometres from the geometric centre of the airport.