The issue of whether to provide obstacle lighting on wind farms is fraught, given the competing interests of aircraft operators and the aviation safety regulator who want to prevent aircraft from colliding with the wind turbines, and the surrounding community which does not appreciate the visual impact of the lights on the night sky.
Australia's aviation safety standards generally require medium intensity obstacle lighting for structures that are higher than 150 m above ground level (such as the majority of wind turbines currently under construction or proposed).
In recent months CASA has conducted an onsite review of a wind farm site location in a remote setting where there was little to no surrounding light sources. In that particular case, a decision was made to allow a reduction from the previously recommended 2,000 candela medium intensity steady red aviation hazard lighting, to 200 candela low intensity steady red lighting. It was thought that the lack of backlighting made the 200 candela lighting easier to see at night, and that this level of lighting should provide an acceptable level of aviation safety for aircraft operators.
To find out more about how Aviation Projects can assist with assessing appropriate obstacle lighting (and marking) outcomes for your wind farm, see our capability page.
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