The operator of Scatsta Airport in Shetland says it will object to initial plans for a windfarm of up to 63 turbines on the island of Yell due to concerns over the effect the development could have on aircraft operations.
Serco believes the 200MW windfarm could, in its current design, have a “significant impact” on the approach to
and climb out from the North Mainland airport, with potential for communication problems with planes and helicopters.
It is also concerned that turbines with a hub height of up to 100m could “generate unwanted clutter on air traffic control display screens”, potentially masking aircraft.
But it said it is open to the proposals being changed in mitigation to its concerns.
Serco’s letter of objection, written by contract/airport director John Thorne, follows concerns it initially raised in 2016 in relation to Peel Energy’s proposed Beaw windfarm, also in Yell, which ultimately received consent from the Scottish Government in December.
Mr Thorne said the proposed windfarm – which has been devised by local consortium Energy Isles Ltd and would also
need government approval – would be “directly aligned with the flight path to the Magnus offshore installation, among others”.
Energy Isles Ltd said it would not comment on individual objections and would look at all responses together with the government’s energy consents and development unit when appropriate.
Scatsta Airport is located between Brae and the Sullom Voe oil terminal and it handles between 14,000 and 20,000 plane and helicopter flights a year for the oil and gas industry.
“In its proposed location, the development may have a significant impact on the final approach track and climb out, requiring amendment to the instrument flight procedures (IFP),” Thorne wrote.
“Not withstanding that the development is situated beneath the main inbound and outbound route to and from Scatsta Airport, the location of the turbines is directly aligned with the flight path to the Magnus offshore installation (among others) and Serco is specifically concerned that the development may adversely affect communications with fixed wing and rotary aircraft travelling on this flight path.”