‘Ocular Impact’ Rule For Green-Minded Airports Published


The FAA has published a new policy that tries to ensure that pilots and controllers aren’t blinded by the reflected light of green projects at airports. Homeland Security Today is reporting that airports with control towers now have to assess the potential glare hazard from solar power projects and clear the design with the agency. It even has a term for the hazard. It’s called the “ocular impact.”

According to the publication the airport considering solar power must confirm “it has sufficiently analyzed the potential for glint and glare and determined there is no potential for ocular impact to the airport traffic control tower cab. If any impacts are discovered after construction, the airport must mitigate the impact at its expense.” Airports that ignore the policy might face sanctions. 

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  1. It affects cars on the highway too. Highway 84 past Pendleton, OR can blind eastbound drivers. Very close to the airport and the VOR. Very large hazard. Solar and wind provide so little power for their size and expense, and yes, continue to be an eyesore even after its broken and no longer working.

  2. Too bad the FAA doesn’t require as much scrutiny over non-green projects, like the power plant that was recently built next to a nearby airport, directly under the flight path of the downwind leg. So now planes in that downwind have to contend with flying over the smoke stacks.

  3. The slow but reassuringly methodical turning of the cogs. This was foreshadowed 20 years ago elsewhere but the slow US solar uptake has only brought it into focus now. Bad pun?

    Transmission efficiency is good so the big arrays to come will no doubt end up in more isolated, cheaper areas by commercial imperative and to time the sun for energy markets.