USA: FAA Experiences Cape Wind Pressure

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees felt political pressure to approve Cape Wind, says the Associated Press.

Internal documents, obtained by the Cape Wind project opponents, imply it was approved amid internal disagreement over the best way to avoid the turbines interfering with radar and jeopardizing airplane safety.

Finally, the FAA decided that the answer to safety matter was to modify the existing radar system at a nearby airfield, instead of ordering an extensive replacement which could have delayed the Cape Wind project three to four years.

Furthermore, other documents show that employees repeatedly refer to the project’s political implications. The FAA stated that the opinions expressed in internal documents are not official agency positions and the evaluations of air traffic obstructions are based on safety issues, as well as the existing ways to reduce potential risks.

However, Audra Parker of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound said that the agency has put business interests of Cape Wind over air safety.

Mark Rodgers, Cape Wind spokesman, noted that the project has been determined to be safe after long FAA review and is supported by Cape Air.

[mappress]

Offshore WIND staff, June 18, 2012

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