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Sunday, July 30, 2017


Apex Galloo Project in the Path of Ft. Drum Aviation Training Route

Apex Clean Energy’s proposed Galloo Island Wind Farm is directly in the path of a Ft. Drum military aviation training corridor. Currently the project is under FAA review for an obstruction hazard and potential conflicts with aviation operations. In a July 28, 2017 public notice the FAA made a preliminary determination that the project would “have no effect on any airspace and routes used by the military.” However, no mention was made to a 10-mile wide Ft. Drum military aviation training route that encompasses all of Galloo Island.
Wikepedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_training_route) provided the following information on Military Training Routes:


“Military training routes (MTRs) are aerial corridors (such as IR801 for Jefferson County) across the United States in which military aircraft can operate below 10,000 feet faster than the maximum safe speed of 250 knots that all other aircraft are restricted to while operating below 10,000 feet. The routes are the result of a joint venture between the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense to provide for high-speed, low-altitude military activities. Military Training Routes are divided into Instrument Routes (IR), and Visual Routes (VR). Each route is identified by either of these two letters, followed by either four digits for routes below 1,500 feet above ground level, or three digits for routes extending for at least one leg above 1,500 ft AGL. (Note - over Galloo aircraft could be just above the 600 foot  turbine height). The difference between the IR and VR routes is that IR routes are flown under Air Traffic Control, while VR routes are not.”


IR801 Military Route.jpg
IR801 is a circular military training route with a 10-mile wide corridor that encompasses all of Galloo, Little Galloo and Stony Islands.


“Each route is defined by a number of geographical coordinates and their respective navaid fixes. From this line the corridor is extended a specific number of miles, in the vast majority of cases this is five miles, making the corridor 10 miles wide. The Routes are individually operated through one of the local military air bases (Ft. Drum), which schedule and 'own' the route.”

The FAA notice leaves a number of unanswered questions. Why no mention of IR801, the Ft. Drum military training route? The training route is designed for low altitude, higher speed flight, the type of operation with obvious potential hazards and conflicts.  Why has there been no acknowledgement of the potential conflict between Apex’s  turbines and Ft. Drum training flights? If there has been some negotiation, mitigation or change to IR801, then why no acknowledgement or documentation? The FAA’s website has a provision for requesting all documentation associated with each case, but the only documentation currently available is the public notice itself.

Link here to the   FAA website

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