Home Letters To The Editor City has hard choices over FAA radars and development

Need to assume the present buildings at the resort do not affect the radar, this needs to be verified. The City needs to do it’s own evaluation of each proposed building. Evaluate the site and height of the proposed building and how it would cumulatively affect the radar. There was a radar survey completed in 1994, no documented problems. On 2 and 3 September the Air Force started a survey, the study will re-evaluate the radar capability relative to existing buildings. If the City has it’s own evaluation it would be able to determine any future building problems. When they say move the radar with their own survey they would have data available to back their recommendations. There is a local Company that has the ability to do this type of evaluation. The City has depended on ‘Policy’ consultants; it is time for technical support. The City is recommending a move of the radar to Fort Story or Dam Neck. Have they investigated (survey) these sites and determined the suitability, 360 degree all altitude radar coverage requested by the Air Force?

Not only buildings, but also an upcoming announcement of a Wind Turbine farm off the coast of Virginia Beach will definitely be a concern of the Air Force. (How will wind turbines affect radar?) Not only the Air Force, but also what is the official position of the Coast Guard and Navy (in writing)? Are the services concerned about a wind farm in the middle of the entrance of one of the east coast busiest ports (Hampton Roads/Baltimore)? It will also be in the center of the Navy and Air Force Sea and Air training areas? Hopefully at the announcement of the project the developer will present documentation covering all concerns presented by constructing the ‘Farm’. (Wind turbines present unique problems to all radars, ducting, unpredicted rotation, angle of intercept of radar waves, and a lot of technical questions). Need to wait and see if all questions are addressed at the announcement.

Before going any further on the radar issue, talking about spending $25M to move a radar, not allowing high buildings, it is time for the City to take the lead and get all the technical facts. Everyone supports Homeland Defense, they set the criteria, but let’s look at all the facts and apply some ‘common sense’. What is the REAL affect of the planned buildings to the mission of the Air Force?

Fred Metz  - Adm. (USN-ret.)

Virginia Beach

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