Edinburgh trial (no prior consultation) of new narrow route to be ended 2 months early, due to opposition

Edinburgh Airport is to halt its controversial trial of a new flight path two months early (28th October). The trial of the concentrated route resulted in unacceptable levels of noise for those below the new route. The airport’s Chief executive Gordon Dewar admitted the airport had been overwhelmed with complaints about the trial route over areas which were not previously over flown. He said a letter from Transport Minister, Derek Mackay, asking if the trial could be shortened had also influenced the decision. The announcement was made at a packed public meeting in Broxburn. Like all other new routes that have been introduced through the CAA, there was no consultation. Mr Dewar said on the consultation: “…I do apologise. We have learned a lesson on that one.” The CAA has been taken aback by the extent of opposition to every new concentrated flight path it has introduced, and appears unable to work out how to implement the European SESAR changes to airspace on an articulate and determined population, against their will. Someone at the meeting commented that Gordon Dewar’s presentation was met with silence from the audience. But a short video by Sally Pavey, an experienced noise campaigner from Gatwick, received enthusiastic applause. Campaigners from affected airports are linking up to oppose unsuitable airspace changes.


Edinburgh Airport flight path trial axed

17 September 2015 (Edinburgh News)

EDINBURGH Airport is to halt its controversial trial of a new flight path.

The airport has bowed to growing pressure from campaigners and will stop the trial over West Lothian at the end of October – cutting it short by two months.

Chief executive Gordon Dewar admitted the airport had been overwhelmed with complaints about the trial route over Broxburn, Uphall, Dechmont and Blackness – areas which were not flown over by existing routes.

Mr Dewar also said a letter from Transport Minister Derek Mackay asking if the trial could be shortened had also influenced the decision.

He made the announcement at a packed public meeting in Broxburn last night, which saw emotions run high among residents who have been affected by flights since June.

He apologised for the airport’s lack of consultation about the trial before flights started.

“We have listened to the communities under the trial flight path and their representatives,” he said. “Derek Mackay has written to me asking if the trial can be shortened once the necessary data has been gathered.

“We will therefore be 
suspending the trial on October 28. This will allow us to do more work and data gathering whilst responding to feedback from local communities.

“We still have work to do on aircraft tracking and how tight the corridor can be. It is clear that the two-mile bandwith is widening the impact zone and I would like to see that reduced.

“We will also increase the number of noise monitors in use over the final six weeks to allow us to accelerate the data gathering in this area.”

He added: “I’m aware I’m not the most popular man in Broxburn tonight but part of the trial is to understand the impact. Being overflown by aircraft is not enjoyable but we were looking at the least worst impact.

“But on consultation I do apologise. We have learned a lesson on that one.”

The airport has come under heavy criticism for launching the trial without consulting with residents living in the affected areas – although it has always said that it has stayed within Civil Aviation Authority guidelines. While the decision to halt the trial early was welcomed by campaigners, they said they would fight any intention to introduce the flight path 
permanently if the airport’s data suggested it was a 
workable route.

Helena Paul, of Blackness and part of the Stop Edinburgh Airpath Trial campaign (Seat) said: “I am pleased about it but I’m really worried about what might happen next.

“I am concerned that they could just do this again. I live in an area of tranquility.”






Flight path trial to be halted two months early

17.9.2015 (BBC)

Trial route map

The trial of a new flight path from Edinburgh Airport is to be halted two months early after intervention from Scotland’s transport minister.

The new route started in June in a move designed to allow one flight to depart every minute at peak times.

It was due to run until 24 December but will now stop on 28 October.

The move follows concerns from local communities, with residents saying they experienced sleep disruption and noise pollution.

Transport Minister Derek MacKay secured the agreement with the airport.

Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport’s chief executive, told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “We always knew this was going to have an impact and the trial now tells us with data and facts what that impact would be before we consider what the next steps for the future are.

“We are in no doubt that for some this suggested flight path is detrimental.

“We are also in no doubt that the flight path is one of the main options in delivering the capacity that the airport and the country needs.”

‘Engaging with communities’

He added: “We believe that this trialled route is the least detrimental option given the geography we have to deal with.

“There are tough decisions ahead but I hope that we can make them together based on data and balancing the needs of Scottish passengers and local residents.

“We will be engaging with local communities and their representatives in early 2016 to do just that.”

SNP MP for Livingstone Hannah Bardell welcomed the decision to call a halt to the trail.

She said: “I had a lot of constituents contact me largely about the noise intrusion into their homes.

“Lots of people being woken up early in the morning, cargo flights going on late at night, their children’s sleep patterns being affected.”

She added: “The local folk in this area of Uphall, Broxburn, Winchburgh and a number of other areas, were affected because the flights were not sticking, they believe, to the flight path that was stipulated.

“They were actually turning early and so it was fully fuelled planes turning over people houses at very low levels.”

‘End in sight’

Alison Johnstone, MSP for Lothian and Scottish Green Party candidate for Edinburgh Central, said: “I’d like to congratulate the community on their success in reducing the length of the reckless flight trial by two months.

“This is entirely due to sheer determination and their well-organised and effective campaign.

“October will still feel like a long month for the community who have had to suffer negative health impacts and disruptive noise caused by the trial, but I am please the airport have recognised the need to listen and act.

“An end to this stressful situation is now in sight.”



See also




Scottish MSPs call for the Edinburgh flight path trial, that is reducing people to tears, to be ended early

Edinburgh Airport started a trial of a new flight path in June, due to continue till 24th December. The purpose of the route is to enable the airport to have take-offs every minute, rather than every two minutes. It has resulted in a narrow, concentrated flight path over areas that did not have much plane noise before, and this has caused real distress. People are especially infuriated because the CAA allows NATS to run trials with no consultation of the public. This consultation is currently only needed once the trial has been done (and it pretty much a fait accompli). Campaigners of SEAT (Stop Edinburgh Airspace Trial) launched a petition against the trial and have won the support of cross-party Lothian MSPs, including Labour’s Neil Findlay who yesterday led the debate. Four MSPs spoke up in a debate at Hollyrood, saying it is not acceptable that people now badly affected by noise were not consulted, and they want the trial ended early.  Alison Johnstone (Green Party Scotland) said the relentless noise, often from 5am all day through till midnight, had reduced people to tears due to stress and sleep deprivation. She added, re. the CAA: “Just because you don’t have to consult, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.”



Edinburgh Airport’s new TUTUR flight path trial started 25th June – maybe for 6 months

The trial of a new flight path to the west of Edinburgh airport started on 25th June. The airport itself does not say how long the trial with last, but reports say either 5 months or 6 months. The trial sees southbound planes take off over Broxburn and Uphall before turning east over the Forth, then south over East Lothian. The aim of the trial is to speed up departures, increase the number of planes than can be handles, and make more money for airlines and the airport. Edinburgh airport says if the trial is a “success,” [a success may mean if the level of opposition is low enough, or can be discounted] it could cut the minimum interval between take-offs from two minutes to one minute, doubling the potential number of flights by large planes from the airport. That could mean increasing the total number of flights by 20% to around 120,000 per year. People finding themselves under the new, narrow, route are experiencing much worse plane noise than before – especially as much of the new flight path is on a turn. People are encouraged to contact the airport and make complaints, if the are not happy with the new situation. Edinburgh airport says: “If the trial is successful it will continue for a bit longer” (ie. no end date?) going through the formal Airspace Change Process by the CAA. Once that is done, the route will be permanent – after a public consultation and the statutory change process.

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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.

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