Wind generators and runway height restrictions

Can someone give me some ideas about who to talk with about private airport height restrictions? My father has a grass strip (registered and on sectional charts) in rural MN. Grass stip has been on my father’s farm for 30+ years. A group is planning on building 50-100 large wind generators in the area. The land that would be developed is farm land (no buildings or dwellings).

Is this an FAA, state or local issue (eg. county or township zoning)?

Don’t like the thought of having a large obstructions off one end of the runway.


Why not contact AOPA - they should be able to help you out.


I just happen to be an airspace obstruction specialist contractor. Briefly, FAA obstruction regulations do not apply to private airports. Generally though. the turbine guys will give a little. You can check the MN DOT they may have some restrictions (IL does).

For a tiny grass strip around 2000’; I would suggest (a “trap”) you could hope for a 20:1 gradient 500’ wide at the runway out 10000’ horizontally from the runway ends 1.5 miles wide. That gives you a clear 1.5 mile final at 500’ agl with about a 400 FPM departure climb. That’s what I would want, but is only a guess.

Hope that helps.

I don’t care how fast they get these things going; they’re simply not going to get that hill to fly. [:P]

Thanks. This helps. Hopefully the developers (and our neighbors who lose some revenue potential for renting their land) will be flexible. Any other thoughts you have would be appreciated.



I certainly can’t quote a source, but somewhere in the back of my memory I thought that the application of these types of obstruction regulations depends on the usage of the airport as opposed to the ownership. In other words, a public-use, privately-owned airport would have at least some of the same protections as a publicly-owned airport.

To the OP, is it possible or desirable to reclassify your strip as public-use (even if no one would really have the need/desire/etc. to use it)? I don’t know if there are other requirements that would go along with reclassifying the strip like that - I don’t know much about this subject at all. Just thought I would bring it up.

You are correct as far as public use airport. Anyone can own an airport including bob-the-builder.

Steve or Thaddeus,

Do you know who I should talk with about the “public use” designation? I will talk with both the FAA (still waiting for a call back from their local office) and MN DOT Dept. of Aeronautics.