Introduction of a New Transponder Mandatory Zone in the Moray Firth

Closed 17 Jan 2021

Opened 9 Nov 2020

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.

Overview

This airspace change proposal (ACP) is sponsored by us, Moray Offshore Wind Farm (West) Limited (MOWWL), referred to in this consultation as the Developer or the Sponsor.

We intend to develop a new offshore wind farm in the Moray Firth, adjacent to the Moray Offshore Wind Farm (East) Ltd. (MOWEL) and Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm ltd. (BOWL) developments.  Our development will contain up to 85 Wind Turbine Generators (WTGs) to power up to 64,000 UK homes.  It will be located 22.5 km (12.1 NM) from the Caithness coastline and 24 km (13 NM) from the Aberdeenshire coastline, see below.

However, our Wind turbines could interfere with air traffic control radars.  To mitigate against this interference a Primary Radar Mitigation Scheme is required.  We are proposing to use Range Azimuth Gating (RAG) blanking with a complimentary Transponder Mandatory Zone (TMZ) as our mitigation solution (For further details see Section 8 of the consultation document).

We are consulting in relation to the establishment of the TMZ, which is shown below (Red Outline).

The wind farm will cover an area of approx. 225 km2. The Eastern portion sits under the TMZs implemented as part of the PRMSs for the MOWEL and BOWL wind farms.  Only the TMZ covering the Western portion is included in this airspace change which incorporates a buffer zone surrounding the development.

The affected airspace is Class G.

The purpose of this consultation is for you, our stakeholders, to respond effectively to the information we have provided.  The Consultation document can be read in conjunction with the Consultation Strategy and Full Options Appraisal which outlines the consultation approach.

Why we are consulting

We are seeking feedback from stakeholders who may be affected by the proposal.  Primarily this is likely to be users of the airspace and other aviation stakeholders.  Nonetheless we welcome feedback from any interested parties. 

You have the opportunity to provide relevant feedback, which may conflict with that of other stakeholders.  After the consultation has ended, we will consider all your feedback and then produce the final design proposal, which may differ from that described in this document.

The consultation begins on Monday 9th November 2020 and close on 17th January 2021.  

We are consulting on two options:

  • Do nothing - Under this option no PRMS will be in place and construction of the wind farm will be unable to commence.  As such, the benefits of renewable energy will not be realised.
  • TMZ- This option will allow construction of the wind farm and the subsequent benefits.

Consultation Material  (please download)

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What happens next

During consultation we gathered feedback from stakeholders and any interested parties. 

Responses will then be analysed and themed.  Shortly after the consultation finishes, we will publish a consultation feedback document, which will summarise the themes and MOWWL's response to any issues raised. 

The feedback document will be available for download via the CAA portal.  Any new requirements identified will be considered in the on-going design process.  The ACP will detail the design being submitted and make reference to changes that have been made to take account of consultation feedback.