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Air safety concerns over Swansea wind farm after fatal plane crash at German wind turbine site  

Credit:  By Chris Peregrine | South Wales Evening Post | February 16, 2017 | www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk ~~

Fresh safety fears have been raised about Swansea’s first ever wind farm following a recent fatal aeroplane crash in Germany.

Work on the £52 million Mynydd y Gwair scheme near Felindre to provide 16 turbines has started and is expected to last until near the end of next year.

Now fresh concerns about air safety, including for the Wales Air Ambulance, have been raised in the light of the incident in Germany.

Innogy Renewables UK, which is behind the scheme, said that it had no aviation concerns.

In the incident outside the town of Melle in north-western Germany, a plane reportedly hit a wind turbine at a height of 40 metres in relatively clear air, killing the pilot.

Retired teacher and pilot Gary Waters, from Craigcefnparc, is an opponent of the wind turbine scheme, but has concerns about aircraft safety.

He flies a RV7 light aircraft from Swansea Airport and said that poor visibility caused by bad weather could be an issue.

“There is always concern,” he said. “These pylons in wind turbines are so big these days. They are on high ground. They are everywhere. There are going to be more accidents. There is no question of that.”

Ioan Richard, Mawr ward member on Swansea Council, said: “The proposed Mynydd y Gwair wind turbines for Mynydd y Gwair Common will be about 485 feet high, situated near Swansea’s highest point Penlle’rcastell, which itself is at 1,200 feet above sea level, remote and very often shrouded in mist.

“All concerns about possible aircraft crashes have been dismissed by all appropriate authorities – including the developers Innogy. One regular flight in that area is the air ambulance conveying patients to Morriston Hospital.”

Mr Richard said the crash in Germany had renewed his fears.

“We have been concerned all along,” he said. “Maybe it needs another look.”

A spokeswoman for Innogy said that all issues would have been considered in the planning process.

“In relation to low flying aircraft, I can confirm that there are no aviation concerns in relation to Mynydd y Gwair wind farm,” she said.

No one from Wales Air Ambulance was available for comment.

Source:  By Chris Peregrine | South Wales Evening Post | February 16, 2017 | www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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