Wind turbines to be allowed closer to Belgian airports

On Tuesday, Belgian air traffic controller skeyes proposed several measures to allow wind turbines closer to airports without compromising air traffic safety. A first concrete step has been taken around Charleroi airport, where the so-called "protection zone" will soon be scrapped.

With the elimination of the zone, wind turbines can now be placed as little as seven kilometres from the airport without prior, extensive study. Previously, the bare minimum was 10 kilometres. Wind turbines will remain absolutely forbidden in the immediate vicinity of the airport (up to 3 kilometres), and a study is required between 3 and 7 kilometres.

The construction of wind turbines near airports and airport infrastructure is limited on account of the risks involved. Not only is there a risk of collisions, but wind turbines can also interfere with the operation of radars and beacons for aviation. These restrictions can be reduced by, for example, replacing outdated technologies with modern technical installations that are much more resistant to the potentially adverse effects of turbines, says skeyes. A new ground radar has been installed at Charleroi airport, for example.

"The measures to create more space for wind energy projects show that skeyes wants to actively contribute to the energy transition"

Interventions are also planned around other airports to free up more space for wind turbines.

"The measures to create more space for wind energy projects show that skeyes wants to actively contribute to the energy transition," said skeyes chief executive Johan Decuyper. "All these investments also positively affect the overall safety of air traffic."

Federal Mobility minister Georges Gilkinet, present at the press conference in Charleroi, pointed out that a budget of 13,5 million euros has been freed up for the technical work required to "minimise restrictive technical barriers for civil and military aviation beacons and radars". The federal government aims to increase renewable energy production in our country by 1,5 gigawatts.




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