2009 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2009 11:08:12 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] ENERGY, ENCROACHMENT: Wind farms and pilot training
Wind farms may endanger pilots

Opinion by Dick Messbarger
Corpus Christi Caller Times (TX)
December 5, 2009

"Is anyone looking at wind farms from a pilot training standpoint?" was the question and stunned silence was the answer. The question came during a discussion on encroachment last month at the Department of Defense (DOD) Community Conference in Orlando, Fla.

For example, did you know that placing wind turbines between 5 and 8 miles from an airfield creates "blind spots" due to the clutter created on the radar screen? Air traffic controllers can adjust clutter maps to account for this, but "driving up" these maps will mean that an airplane on the radar screen will have to produce stronger return than the turbine before you would see it on the radar scope. Think of it as turning the squelch up on a radio you wouldn't hear anyone trying to contact you until they were right next to you.

Col. Ed Chupein, chief of Air Force Ranges and Airspace, spoke to the 600 community leaders gathered in Orlando for the conference about the effects of operating wind farms in the vicinity of a military air base. He explained that the specific effect of wind turbines in proximity to the airfield is on the Digital Air Surveillance Radar, Precision Approach Radar, and other navigational aids. It is exacerbated with height and numbers of wind turbines, but especially by location.


For the entire column, see


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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