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United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Solution to airport radar problem

UK airport operator BAA has withdrawn its objection to one of Europe's largest wind farms after developing a solution to prevent the wind turbines obscuring aircraft on airport radar. BAA objected to ScottishPower's planned 322 MW Whitelee wind farm, ten miles south of Glasgow. It claimed the reflection from the 140 turbines on Glasgow airport's radar systems would create an unreliable and unsafe picture of air traffic on a key approach to the airport. After working with National Air Traffic Services (NATS), BAA will now construct an additional primary radar on ScottishPower land at Kincardine in Fife to track aircraft directly above the wind farm. Data will be fed into a new radar display at Glasgow and merged with data from the existing Glasgow radar to provide an acceptable picture for air traffic control. The £5 million fix will be funded by ScottishPower. According to BAA, the technology has been trialled in recent months. It is thought to be the first solution of its kind to be implemented. BAA's objection was the major obstacle standing in the way of the £150 million project receiving consent from the Scottish Executive. "We have worked closely with NATS and ScottishPower and are now pleased to be able to withdraw our objection and allow this ambitious project to continue to its final stage of consent," says BAA's Stephen Baxter.

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