HURON COUNTY – The wind turbine being built in proximity to a Scheurer Hospital helicopter landing pad has been reviewed and approved by the Michigan Aeronautic Commissions and the Federal Aviation Association (FAA).
Jeff Smith, Huron County building and zoning director, updated the Huron County Planning Commission on the issue Wednesday night.
An official from Scheurer Hospital of Pigeon previously approached the Huron County Board of Commissioners a couple of weeks ago about the turbine’s location, which some county residents feared would interfere with emergency helicopter traffic.
In an email to Jeff Smith, Linn Smith of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Office of Aeronautics, said not only was the turbine approved for a tall structure permit in July 2015, but the FAA has also issued the previous month a determination of “no hazard to air navigation.”
Linn Smith is the supervisor of the project support unit planning and development section for the aeronautics office of MDOT. The Michigan Aeronautics Commission delegates its authority for airspace reviews and approvals to that office.
Clark Ramsey, marketing and public relations director at Scheurer Healthcare Network, had previously addressed the board of commissioners about the issue.
“We are acknowledging that by MDOT and FAA regulations, that by definition, it (the turbine) is not an obstruction,” Ramsey told the Tribune.
Linn Smith said in his email that he reviewed the case May 25 with MDOT’s Special Airspace Review Team, which concurred with the FAA determination.
The wind turbine, according to the FAA determination obtained by the Tribune, is 499 feet above ground level, and 1,114 feet above mean sea level.
Heliports have different restrictions than airports, Jeff Smith told the planners.
The turbine is part of the Apple Blossom Wind Park, which is being constructed by Sempra U.S. Gas and Power.
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