AFTER a Democratic Party convention that featured constant attacks on him, and accusations that he encouraged Russia to spy on his opponent for the US presidency, Hillary Clinton, a bad week for Donald Trump has ended on another reverse, this time in Scotland.
Furthermore it was delivered by the NATS – no, not the SNP, but the air traffic control service, which has put the final nail in the coffin of Trump’s objections to wind turbines in Aberdeen Bay.
The Donald has long opposed the wind farm being constructed by the Vattenfall energy firm in the North Sea off his Menie Estate golf course, but the final obstacle to the farm’s development was removed as a result of some ingenious science.
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The air traffic control service has announced it has found a solution that will allow the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) to proceed forthwith.
Opponents of the wind farm scheme in Aberdeen Bay, such as Trump, hoped it would fall foul of the fact that such wind turbines can interfere with radar and cause danger to air traffic movements.
New turbine developments located near airports and other air traffic control centres can be disallowed if they will affect radar operations, but NATS has decided the Aberdeen Bay development will not affect its activities connected to Aberdeen Airport and North Sea helicopter flights.
NATS revealed it will use the latest technology to get round any radar problems caused by the wind farm which Trump has spent a six-figure sum in trying to stop with legal challenges that went all the way to the Supreme Court before failing dismally.
NATS said: “The mitigation solution will see NATS ‘blanking’ the EOWDC development on its Perwinnes radar and the installation of a wide area multilateration radar system to infill the area and provide contingency coverage for helicopters operating offshore from Aberdeen Airport. The mitigation allows Vattenfall to proceed with the construction of the 11 turbines in Aberdeen Bay that will generate 92MW of renewable energy.” The air traffic experts explained that wind turbines can cause interference to radar, appearing as ‘clutter’ that can potentially hide or be mistaken for aircraft.
NATS added: “In these cases, NATS will work with the developer to mitigate the impact using a range of possible techniques that will ensure the ongoing safety of air traffic while allowing the development to continue.”
The cutting edge technology of wide area multilateration radar gets round the problem by using signal transmitters and receivers fitted to tower structures onshore, as well as offshore oil and gas platforms in the central area of the North Sea, to track and identify individual Mode-S equipped aircraft. The data is sent to the control tower at Aberdeen Airport where it provides real-time information for the controllers.
Mark Balsdon, NATS renewable account manager, said: “This is a very important development for Vattenfall, but also for Aberdeen and Scotland in terms of jobs and investment. I’m therefore delighted that NATS has been able to find a solution that will enable the 11 turbines to be built while absolutely protecting the safety of our air traffic operation.”
NATS did have some other news that may slightly affect Trump. The new NATS air traffic control system called iTEC has just gone fully operation at the Prestwick Control Centre.
Prestwick Control Centre handles 80 per cent of air traffic across the North Atlantic ensuring a safe arrival and departure for American visitors to Trump’s golf courses at Turnberry and Menie.