Wind and aviation safety

The installation of a wind farm involves countless permits and one of the least well-known, but possibly the most problematic, is the permit related to aeronautical easements. In regions with high wind power development potential, but which are extremely restricted by the lie of the land and compatibility with aerodromes, as in the Canary Islands, wind farm developers are very familiar with the aeronautical easements authorisation that can even end up bringing an entire project to a standstill.

On numerous occasions, aviation safety has been affected by the installation of wind farms. In Spain, AESA, the State Aviation Safety Agency, is the entity responsible for overseeing compliance with its regulations, under which any construction or installation in areas affected by aeronautical easements or that exceeding 100 metres in height despite being located outside the rights-of-way – even at sea -, requires authorisation.

At international level, this task is the responsibility of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), whose Annex 14 regulates urban development surrounding aerodromes by means of Obstacle Limitation Surfaces (OLSs) and their specific application in line with the standards corresponding to each country. In Spain’s case, OLSs are identified in the aeronautical easements and are approved by Royal Decree. Read more…

Marta Garriga

Article published in: FuturENERGY January-February 2016