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Call to Action – Oppose Wind Farms Near Airports

By Kevin Psutka

 

COPA is not opposed to Wind Energy but we are very concerned about the lack of protection for virtually all aerodromes and airports in Canada. An excellent example of the consequence of this lack of protection is the proposal for a wind farm near the Collingwood, Ontario airport. There is no federal policy to protect aerodromes and airports from encroachment and provincial initiatives to encourage alternative forms of energy, such as Ontario’s Green Energy Act, pave the way to significantly affect Canada’s air transportation infrastructure because, contrary to COPA’s strong position during the development of the Act, there is insufficient direction in the Act to study and mitigate the impact on aerodromes and airports.

As highlighted in a story on the front page of COPA’s web site entitled “Wind turbines and aviation leads to heated debate in Ontario Legislature” the lack of knowledge on the part of Ontario’s Minister of the Environment was made apparent in his response to a question from MPP Jim Wilson. COPA’s letter in support of Mr. Wilson’s position was copied to the Minister of the Environment to encourage him to educate himself on this matter and take action to protect the air transportation infrastructure. The story also asked members to get involved by contacting their MP and MPP to make them aware of this issue.

As the proponent of the wind farm near Collingwood airport continues to plan for placing turbines very close to the airport, relying on Transport Canada and Nav Canada “no objection” statements, COPA is continuing to educate the politicians, federally and provincially, about a fundamental flaw in the understanding of who, if anyone, is responsible for protecting our airport infrastructure and that consideration of the impact on the safety, financial and social aspects is insufficient with the current processes for evaluating proposals.

This is not an issue unique to Collingwood or Ontario. As wind farms increase across Canada, similar attitudes are being taken by many proponents and provincial governments in their zeal to progress with wind farms.

I ask every member to read the letter written by the Ministry of the Environment and my response to it and then put COPA’s concerns into your own words and contact your MP and MPP to express your concerns about the lack of federal and provincial policy to protect Canada’s air transportation infrastructure.