Air navigation service provider skeyes doubles available space for wind turbines while still ensuring air traffic safety

© skeyes

skeyes wants to double available space around its radio beacons for the erection of wind farms, thus enabling the industry to build more wind turbines while still ensuring air traffic safety and efficiency.   


Sustainable aviation is not an empty concept for skeyes. The company analyses how it can contribute to facing the worldwide ecological challenges for all aspects of its activities.

Wind power is one of those solutions. As wind turbines play a crucial role in producing green energy, skeyes has been cooperating intensively with the industry for a long time already to check potential sites for erecting additional wind farms without jeopardizing air traffic safety. But the available space is very limited.

Nine radio beacons

The difficulty for skeyes lies in the civil radio beacons, the so-called DVORs (Doppler VHF Omnidirectional Radio Ranges). These transmitting stations – skeyes has 9 across the Belgian territory – are essential in the light of accurate radio navigation. The airways, in line with our motorways, rely hugely on the position of these DVORs. Pilots, as well as air traffic controllers, use the installations during landing procedures.

However, wind turbines with rotating blades have an impact on radio signals. skeyes has to be extremely careful when authorizing the erection of wind turbines in the proximity of the transmitting stations. The dedicated space near such a station is very limited.

New methods of calculating

That is why skeyes developed a new method of calculating. Until now, 9 wind turbines may be erected per 60° sector in a radius of 7 km around a DVOR. The ‘static’ calculating was based on 6 fixed sectors (0-60°, 61°-120°, 121°-180°, …) without overlays between neighbouring sectors.

The new method of calculating, worked out by skeyes, is dynamic. By integrating the adjacent sectors in the calculation, the available space for wind turbines is doubled, compared to the old method, and in principle, there is space for a maximum of 18 wind turbines per 60° sector.

Further analysis based on the new method of calculating will have to point out how many additional wind turbines can be effectively erected per area. Actors from the wind power industry can submit requests, even for locations being analysed earlier as well. The analysis is free of charge.

This new method of calculating contributes, as well as the previous one, to ensuring air traffic safety, remaining at all times the criterion par excellence for skeyes.

Johan Decuyper, CEO of skeyes:

“skeyes takes various initiatives regarding durability, within the company as well as with partners within and outside the aviation sector. In this case, we connect our own knowledge with technological progress to give all possible chances to the sector of renewable energy. We are convinced that this way it will be possible to build more windmills and that te sector will make maximum use of this opportunity.”


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