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Fears of solar farm ‘blinding pilots’

Fears of solar farm ‘blinding pilots’
October 21, 2014 Kai Frolic

Swansea Airport Worries over Solar Farm Glint and GlareGower Power Community Co-operative made an application to develop a 5-acre solar development near Ilston in south Wales.

It was reported in the South Wales Evening Post, that among the concerns raised to the proposal were fears that solar reflections from the development could blind pilots flying out of Swansea Airport (pictured).

Concerns over Glint and Glare from solar developments in the vicinity of airports are not uncommon, and can present a barrier to development in the UK. Objections have been raised by UK airports to proposed solar developments more than 15 kilometres away.

Guidelines have been produced by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the UK in addition to the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) in the USA regarding the issue, and it is advisable to model the potential effects if there is a risk of an objection.

The Gower Power development, known as Webbsfield, was recommended for approval [1] but was subsequently rejected by Swansea Council on the 26th of August 2014. Reports [2] suggest this was primarily due to its location within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The applicant stated an intention to appeal [3] the decision.

Image accreditation: “Swansea Airport on Fairwood Common” by Nigel Davies via Wikimedia / CCBY/ image resized from original.

References

[1] “Solar farm bid on Gower peninsula is rejected by council” – The Energy Brokers

[2] Bid for Gower solar farm thrown out by council planners – South Wales Evening Post

[3] 1MW community owned solar array, Webbsfield – Gower Power

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