Wind Farms in Western Oklahoma May Be Endangering Pilots

Jul 10, 2017

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The proliferation of wind farms in the western part of Oklahoma has been causing headaches for the U.S. military’s aeronautical operations in the region, reports The Tulsa World.

The problem is occurring mainly in the areas around Vance Air Force Base in Enid and Altus Air Force Base. According to Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission Director Victor Bird, the wind farms may be putting the lives of training pilots at risk.

Bird said the turbines rise 495 feet above ground, and the pilot training routes begin just five feet above that level, at 500 feet.

Mike Cooper, of the Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission agreed, saying: “These are men and women who don’t know how to fly yet.”

Two Oklahoma state Senators proposed a bill last session that would have required wind farms in the areas around the air force bases to seek special permits. However, the bill was put on hold and never brought to a vote.