In Oklahoma, Landowners Register Private Airstrips to Fight Wind Farms

May 31, 2016

The Blue Canyon Wind Farm near Carnegie, Okla.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

If you didn’t know better, you might think Western Oklahoma was in the midst of an aviation renaissance. Of late, there’s been a rush to register private airstrips in rural areas, reports StateImpact Oklahoma. But these new landing areas aren’t planning to attract travel. They were created to keep wind turbines out.

Some landowners in the state have grown increasingly perturbed by wind farms, which they say ruin views and decrease property values. These new airstrips are a sneaky way to prevent more wind farm construction. The airstrip bonanza is part of the fallout from a state bill passed last year, reports The Oklahoman. Senate Bill 808 said turbines had to be at least one and a half nautical miles from a school, hospital or airport. The result: wind farms were pushed further into rural areas.

Most airstrip applicants do not have pilot licenses. Wind industry representatives are calling the airstrips “shamports.”