17 November 2010

Newcastle International Airport is set to announce it has invested in new technology that will allow for growth in the number of wind turbine sites in the North East. A meeting of key stakeholders from the world of aviation and renewable energy industries will be told a modification to radar displays will essentially block-out a number of new wind farms on air traffic control screens.

 The breakthrough represents the end of a six-year stand-off in which the airport was unable to sanction any new large-scale wind farms for safety reasons. The moving blades of wind turbines show up on radar screens with the potential to compromise passenger safety, a situation the airport refused to allow.

 A new solution has come after three years of research. While it represents a huge breakthrough for supporters of wind turbines in the region, airport bosses have said there will be a cap on the number of the “black spots” they can introduce – likely to be between 10 and 15 sites, although the number is unknown at this stage.