CAA ends wind turbine pre-planning role

Date: 20 December 2010

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced that it will no longer process pre-planning enquiries for wind turbine developments. The CAA said that the improved awareness of aviation related issues amongst wind farm developers means its involvement in this voluntary and informal process is no longer required.

The CAA said that, following discussion with the Government-Industry Aviation Management Board and with the support of all management stakeholders (including the Department for Energy and Climate Change and RenewableUK), it has been agreed that, after the 24th December 2010, it will no longer process pre-planning enquiries unless submitted as a Scoping Opinion through a Local or National Planning Authority. As completion of the pre-planning process is not a statutory requirement, the CAA’s decision will not affect the formal planning process.

A number of specialist aviation consultants are now also available to offer expert advice to interested parties. The CAA has published further information and guidance on its website, which includes all the key issues and procedures developers and the aviation industry need to be aware of, see www.caa.co.uk/windfarms.

Andy Knill, Head of Surveillance and Spectrum Management at the CAA said: “The level of understanding of aviation related issues within the renewable energy sector has significantly improved over the past few years. Therefore, the requirement for the CAA to be involved in pre-planning of wind farm developments has reduced.

”Our general advice continues to be that developers of potential wind farms should engage with aviation stakeholders at the earliest opportunity, using the guidance provided in CAA Publication 764. Any impact on aviation can therefore be mitigated ahead of the formal planning process.”

For further media information contact the CAA Press Office on 020 7453 6030 or press.office@caa.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy from an economic standpoint.