Edinburgh Airport unveils 5 month trial of flight path to boost the airport’s capacity
Edinburgh Airport has unveiled details of a 5-month trial of a new flight path for aircraft taking off to the west, in a bid to increase capacity. The Airspace Trial, which will begin on 25 June, will introduce a new SID route, the purpose of which is to allow more flights to use the runway, and allow aircraft to take off at one-minute intervals. This is to “allow the airport to maintain safe and sustainable growth without affecting punctuality.” Most of the time the flights take off to the west and there are currently 3 SID routes – known as Grice (which goes north), Gosam (which goes south west) and Talla (south). The new route – Tutur – will see aircraft take off in a south westerly direction and turn right towards the River Forth, passing over West Lothian and to the east of Linlithgow. The settlements worse affected, with planes at 1900 – 2000 feet, would be Uphall and Dechmont. Map Aircraft will climb as they turn, to fly over the coast and down the Firth of Forth passing North Queensferry, and then fly back over land at approximately 13,000ft near Musselburgh. The airport says the aircraft using the trial route are likely to be their least noisy (B737s, A319, A320, A321, 787 and A330s). The airport says the trial would monitor the impact on local communities, and noise monitors would be placed along the flight path to collect data on the flights.
Edinburgh Airport’s information on the flight path trial
Over the coming months, supported by air traffic control providers NATS and in line with Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) guidance, we’ll be leading a trial to introduce a new Standard Instrument Departure (SID) route for certain aircraft taking off on a westerly departure route from our airport.
This will enable aircraft to depart in one minute intervals – allowing us to encourage and maintain safe and sustainable growth whilst ensuring punctuality and operations are unaffected.
At the moment, Scotland’s aircraft currently fly on a network that was designed in the 1970s. What we’re aiming to do is to begin upgrading the airspace above Edinburgh Airport, bringing it into the 21st century.
As we continue to see more passengers travel through our airports than ever before, we’ll need to increase airspace capacity above Central Scotland to cater for this growth.
This is a very exciting and challenging project but to keep you fully up-to-date with its progress, we’ve created this microsite. Here you’ll be able to find maps, images and more information which should answer your questions and allow you to learn more about what we’re doing.
I would encourage you all to have a look and give us your feedback.
As Scotland’s busiest airport we’re committed to the future of Scottish aviation and we’ll work with you to ensure you have all the information you need on the trial and that we can capture your views throughout the trial.
I look forward to working with you throughout this exciting project and sharing regular updates on its progress with you.
The new route
From the end of June, our most modern and quietest aircraft will have the option to take off on a new westerly departure route. This is called a Standard Instrument Departure route or SID for short. The aircraft likely to be using this route are B737s, A319, A320, A321, 787 and A330s.
The new SID route we will be trialling, will see aircraft take off from Edinburgh Airport in a south westerly direction and turn right towards the River Forth, climbing above water before flying back over land at approximately 13,000ft.
We’ve taken great care to design this new departure route with care and consideration for our neighbours in mind. Aircraft using the route will pass over very few settlements and will be routed over the Firth of Forth for the bulk of their flight path around Edinburgh.
We’ll be actively engaging with all of our stakeholders and neighbours to help you understand why we’re doing this and help us to find out what kind of impact the trial will have.
We’ll be placing noise monitors along the flight path so we can collect data on all the flights using the new route and analyse any noise that aircraft potentially cause.
Investment in a new SID route will not only create new capacity in the air, it will also help us increase Scotland’s connectivity and ability to attract more airlines and fly to more new destinations.
Aircraft can currently choose three different westerly departure routes when taking off from Edinburgh Airport. These are called, GRICE, TALLA and GOSAM. The new route we will trial this summer will be called TUTUR. Our existing routes and the new trial route are all shown on the map below. The new route is shown by the red line.
The map below from Edinburgh Airport shows the three existing routes for westerly take-offs, and the proposed new route to be trialled, “TUTUR” shown in red.
Edinburgh Airport unveils flight path trial
Edinburgh Airport has unveiled details of a five-month trial of a new flight path for departing aircraft in a bid to increase capacity.
The Airspace Trial, which will begin on 25 June, will introduce a new Standard Instrument Departure (SID) route.
Airport bosses said the new route would allow aircraft to take off at one-minute intervals.
They said it would allow the airport to maintain safe and sustainable growth without affecting punctuality.
Edinburgh is Scotland’s busiest airport, with more than 40 airlines serving more than 100 destinations.
Last year, more than 10 million passengers passed through, making it the busiest year ever for a Scottish airport.
Most of the time the flights take off west towards Newbridge into the prevailing wind.
The airport currently uses three SID routes – known as Grice (which goes north), Gosam (which goes south west) and Talla (south).
The new route – Tutur – will see aircraft take off in a south westerly direction and turn right towards the River Forth, passing over West Lothian and to the east of Linlithgow.
Aircraft will climb as they fly above the river before flying back over land at approximately 13,000ft near Musselburgh racecourse in East Lothian.
David Wilson, chief operating officer of Edinburgh Airport, said: “At the moment, Scotland’s aircraft currently fly on a network that was designed in the 1970s.
“What we’re aiming to do is begin upgrading the airspace above Edinburgh Airport and bring it into the 21st Century.”
He said the trial would give more modern aircraft the opportunity to take off on a new westerly departure route.
Mr Wilson said: “We’ve taken great care to design this new departure route with the utmost consideration for our neighbours.
“The route passes over very few populated areas and flies over the river for the bulk of its flight path.”
He said the trial would monitor the impact on local communities and noise monitors would be placed along the flight path to collect data on the flights.
Councillor Gavin Corbett, of the Scottish Greens, said he would like to see a more fundamental review of travel capacity.
He said: “For example, almost half of Edinburgh Airport’s traffic is domestic traffic. That’s the kind of traffic which should be on the railways and perhaps that’s the way forward.” [He also commented that much of the traffic using Edinburgh airport is holiday flights, taking Scottish people to spend their holiday money in other countries, thus not doing anything to help the Scottish economy]. See film clip.
Glasgow Airport is also reviewing its airspace.
Along with Edinburgh and Prestwick airport, it is part of the Scottish Airspace Development Design Group, formed last year to review capacity and future growth of air travel in central Scotland.
A spokesman for Glasgow Airport said: “Scotland’s aircraft currently fly on a network designed in the 1970s and there will be a requirement for this to be upgraded.
“We are currently working to understand what this means for Glasgow Airport, however, we will consult fully with relevant stakeholder groups, community representatives and other interested parties prior to any trials.”
Edinburgh Airport flight paths spark noise fears
28.4.2015 (Edinburgh Evening News)
Edinburgh Airport is to trial a new flight path that could see a plane taking off every minute, raising fears of increased aircraft noise and pollution.
The route, which will be tested for six months from June 25, will see southbound planes take off over Broxburn and Uphall, before turning east over the Forth, then south over East Lothian.
And it will cut the minimum interval between take-offs from two minutes to one minute, doubling the potential number of flights by large planes from the hub and increasing the total number of flights in and out of the Capital by 20 per cent to around 120,000 every year.
Not every flight will use the new route, which will increase the total number of take-offs and landings possible per hour from 42 to 50 by 2017, if the trial is rolled out permanently.
But as a result of the change residents in West Lothian are being told to expect increased aircraft noise, with some flights being routed directly over houses. Noise levels will be between 80-90 decibels, the same as standing five metres away from a busy road.
Uphall community councillor Fraser Graham, who lives under the flight path, said: “This could cause people some problems. I will be raising this at our next meeting.”
However, the airport said only quieter modern aircraft will use the new corridor, which will see planes climb rapidly on take-off. The route has been designed for larger aircraft, such as the Boeing 737 and 787 Dreamliner, and Airbus A319, A320, A321, and A330.
There were also concerns that increased flight capacity would add to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
David Wilson, chief operating officer of Edinburgh Airport, said: “At the moment, Scotland’s aircraft currently fly on a network that was designed in the 1970s. What we’re aiming to do is begin upgrading the airspace above Edinburgh Airport and bring it into the 21st century.”
Flights set to use the new corridor include busy international routes to Amsterdam, Brussels, Poland and Italy, as well as new medium-haul routes to the Middle East.
Residents can check the route themselves and offer feedback on the level of disturbance via a dedicated website set up by Edinburgh Airport.
Mr Wilson continued: “We’ve taken great care to design this new route with the utmost consideration for our neighbours. The route passes over very few populated areas and flies over the river for the bulk of its flight path.
“We’ve contacted community councils, groups and politicians and will continue to do this to ensure people understand why we’re doing this and to find out how the new route is impacting on them. We’ll be placing noise monitors along the flight path so we can collect data.”
Sandy Legget, general manager of air traffic controller NATS at Edinburgh, said the new route would help the airport expand.
She said: “NATS has supported the airport in preparing for this trial, ensuring the design delivers benefits for the airport and airlines and is mindful of the airport’s commitment to local communities.
“A new departure route would enable sustainable and safe growth at Edinburgh Airport.”
Colin Keir, MSP for Edinburgh Western and convener of the Cross Party Group on Aviation, said: “I welcome this trial and hope it proves successful.”
More details on the proposed route are trial can be found at http://sid.edinburghairport.com/