The Chief Minister says that it is likely that a number of wind farms currently being proposed will impact the airport.

Alfred Cannan said this in a written response after being asked on the matter by Arbory, Castletown and Malew MHK Jason Moorhouse.

In his response, Mr Cannan, in his role as acting infrastructure minister, said: ‘Any project being carried out by a developer that could have an impact on aviation safety will require an impact assessment by the developer of the site as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment process.

‘At the moment there are several developments, all at different stages which are investigating the impacts their development would have on the airport and whether any mitigation would be required.

‘These sites are a mix of onshore (Manx Utilities) and offshore (Mona, Morgan, Morecambe Bay, Ørsted and North Irish Sea Array).

‘The airport is engaged with these projects so any impacts on Ronaldsway can be identified and considered.’

He added: ‘It is likely that all of these developments will have some form of impact upon the airport and therefore require mitigation. However, the level of mitigation will be discussed at later stages of the planning lifecycle once the impacts are fully understood.

‘This delay is quite common, as the majority of impact can be mitigated, but a more detailed design is usually required to fully crystallise what the impact would be and this generally comes later in the planning process.

‘It is likely that any costs associated with any of the proposed mitigations will be shared across all developments, both offshore and onshore and so it would not be possible to put a price on this at this moment in time.

‘In terms of the onshore wind farms. All proposed sites are likely to have an impact to a varying degree.

‘Airport safeguarding is a key consideration for the environmental and technical feasibility work being carried out by consultants on behalf of Manx Utilities and the airport have been included in the workshops to date.

‘The Environmental Impact Assessment which would accompany any application for such a development will then look to mitigate any impact identified in these initial assessments, and the strategy will be agreed with the airport in advance to ensure there are no adverse consequences.’

In a separate written response, Clare Barber, the Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, was asked how the planning process and material considerations for an onshore windfarm differs from other planning applications.

In her response she said: ‘Any on shore wind farm planning application will follow the same process as all major applications, which includes the submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment.

She added: ‘In certain circumstances, an application is referred under Section 11 of the Town and Country Planning Act to the Council of Ministers for them to consider whether or not they wish to determine the application.

‘Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) those in which an Environmental Impact Assessment is required.’