[Workshop Notice Letterhead]


Concerning Aviation Safety Issues
Related to Turbulence Created by Power Plant Cooling Towers

Purpose: California Energy Commission staff will hold a public workshop to discuss landing conditions at the Blythe Airport. Several pilots have reported experiencing turbulence from thermal plumes emanating from the power plant's cooling towers, while descending for landing on the RY26 approach at the airport, located approximately one mile east of the Blythe Energy Project power plant. Staff is interested in hearing from pilots and others about the impact of the power plant on the RY26 approach.

Staff will be evaluating the seriousness of the problem and exploring possible mitigation measures to address it. Representatives of the Blythe Airport, Riverside County Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC), California Department of Transportation (Cal Trans) Aeronautics section, Federal Aviation Administration; and the Blythe Energy Project, have been requested to attend the workshop, discuss the issues, provide recommendations, and respond to questions.

Should the conditions constitute a safety problem, staff is prepared to discuss possible mitigation measures at the workshop, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Whether a new Notice to Airman (NOTAM) should be issued for the Blythe Airport to advise pilots that the RY26 approach may result in moderate to severe turbulence caused by the plumes from the Blythe power plant cooling towers, and whether to avoid direct overflights.

  • Whether to depict the power plant on the Airport Diagram and on each of the approach plates for RY26, and add a remark about the cooling tower plumes to the Automated Surface Observation System and non-government publications that pilots use.

  • Whether the power plant is adequately marked and lit to visually alert pilots of the plume producing towers.

  • Whether it is feasible to relocate Blythe Airport's Instrument Landing System from RY26 to RY17.

The workshop will be held:


MONDAY, October 4, 2004


1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Blythe City Hall
Multi-purpose Room
(wheelchair accessible)
235 North Broadway
Blythe CA 92225

Public Participation: The public is welcome to participate and provide comments. For information on how to participate in this workshop, please contact the Commission's Public Adviser, Margret J. Kim, at (916) 654-4489, or toll-free in California at (800) 822-6228, or by e-mail to pao@energy.state.ca.us. If you require special accommodations, please contact Lourdes Quiroz at (916) 654-5146, at least five days prior to the workshop. For those unable to attend the workshop in person, a toll-free teleconference number is provided. At 1:00 p.m. October 4, 2004, call 888-390-8568 and provide passcode: 53981.

Questions: Questions regarding the subject matter of the workshop should be directed to Steve Munro, the Compliance Project Manager, at (916) 654-3936, or via e-mail at smunro@energy.state.ca.us. News media inquiries should be directed to Assistant Director, Claudia Chandler, at (916) 654-4989, or by e-mail to mediaoffice@energy.state.ca.us.

DATE: August 31, 2004.

TERRENCE O'BRIEN, Deputy Director
Systems Assessment and Facilities Siting

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