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New wind turbine could ‘impact negatively’ on safety of flight path – Irish Aviation Authority

Plans for a massive wind turbine at a gaeltacht business park is facing opposition from the Irish Aviation Authority over claims it could compromise safety on a flight path.

The body is now one of more than 140 objections received to a planning permission application submitted to Donegal County Council.

Galway-based Lir Energy Ltd wants to erect the 1.5MW turbine in Gaoth Dobhair Business Park in west Donegal.

If completed it would stand 123 metres above the skyline, taller than The Spire in Dublin’s O’Connell Street and more than half the height of the Cliffs of Moher. The turbine would have blades with a diameter of 77m.

Campaigners against the plan in the area say the objection from the IAA is the most significant to date.

In its submission to the council, seen by the Irish Independent, the IAA says the turbine could interfere with flights in and out of Donegal airport in Carrickfin 9km away.

The airport operates daily flights to Dublin and Glasgow as well as a number of commercial flights.

The IAA said the airport believed “visual manoeuvring minimum on the aeronautical charts would be compromised” by a wind turbine.

The objection went on: “The proposed development is located on the route for Visual Flight Rules traffic from the north east and also on the left base turn for Runway 21 and would, therefore, impact negatively on the safety operations at Donegal Airport.

“After consultation with Donegal Airport, the IAA is objecting to the proposed development.”

The objection has been welcomed by a group in the gaeltacht group campaigning against the development.

“We are hopeful planners will decide before the end of January and we hope they will turn down the application,” said a spokesman for Stad an Tuirbin Gaoithe group.