Vapor plumes created by power plants can be a help to pilots by indicating which way the wind is blowing. But these plumes can be a hazard too. AOPA is opposing the proposed location of the Russell City Energy Center about one mile from Hayward Executive Airport because plumes from the facility could create turbulence, restrict visibility, and cause icing or engine and aircraft contaminants. In a letter to the California Energy Commission's Environmental Office, AOPA sited instances of flight "upsets" due to turbulence pilots experienced while flying over these plumes. AOPA members flying near Blythe Airport in California, where a gas turbine generation facility is located about one mile from the airport, have reported detrimental effects on their ability to land safely there.
July 20, 2007