The construction of large wind farms could drive up the cost of air travel and cause delays in launching fighter aircraft on missions to protect Canada, Canadian Air Force officers are warning in a newly released report.
There are a number of proposals underway to build wind farms, including three near a military airbase in Bagotville, Que., five in Nova Scotia, two in Ontario and one in Saskatchewan, the report prepared in November 2012 for then-defence minister Peter MacKay pointed out.
Wind farms are sprouting up around the world, but aviation specialists are raising concerns that the giant turbines are creating blackout zones for air-traffic control radar. The spinning blades of the turbines are being detected by the radar, presenting false images or generating so much clutter on radar screens that controllers are losing track of airplanes as they fly near the wind farm sites.
The wind turbines can also interfere with weather radar, U.S. researchers have warned. The rotating blades can show up on radar as incoming weather, such as an area of precipitation.
“An entire farm will create areas where we cannot reliably observe or control military/civilian air traffic,” the briefing for MacKay, obtained through the Access to Information law, pointed out. “NORAD quick reaction aircraft would need to be rerouted or launch delayed if aircraft were known to be still flying through the dead zone.” Read article