Campaigners vow to fight new Edinburgh Airport flight path plans “all the way”
The campaign group, Stop Edinburgh Airspace Trial (SEAT) against plans for a new Edinburgh flight path has vowed to “fight it all the way”. A report was published by Edinburgh Airport recently, with findings from last year’s TUTUR trial. The aim of the trial was to get planes departing every minute at peak times instead of every two minutes.That would make more money for the airport. SEAT say noise during the trial caused “misery” but the airport declared it was a technical success. The trial was stopped after 4 months, 2 months early, on 28th October, after nearly 8,000 complaints from 567 individuals. The airport said 57% of the complaints were not about trial flights but were about aircraft operating on flight paths that have existed for a long time – as there were some changes to these. Edinburgh says no decision will be made on the new flight path’s future until the end of 2016, but of course, the airport wants to keep the maximum number of flights it can handle per hour, especially at peak times – regardless of annoyance to those overflown. Helena Paul, from SEAT, said the report seriously underestimated the volume of complaints and the sense of outrage people felt. It was grossly unfair to impose noise levels of over 80 decibels on people who bought their homes far from any flight paths.
Campaigners vow to fight new Edinburgh Airport flight path plans
The new route trial ran until 28 October 2015
A campaign group against plans for a new Edinburgh Airport flight path has vowed to “fight it all the way”.
It follows a report published by Edinburgh Airport with findings from last year’s trial, which saw planes take off towards the Forth, passing over West Lothian.
The trial was held to find a way for planes to depart every minute at peak times instead of every two minutes.
Stop Edinburgh Airspace Trial said noise during the trial caused “misery”.
The trial was stopped early after nearly 8,000 complaints from 567 individuals, although the report said 57% were not about trial flights but were about aircraft operating on flight paths that have existed since the runway was built in the mid-1970s.
The trial route, which was called Tutur, had been due to run until 24 December 2015.
However, it was halted on 28 October after starting on 25 June 2015.
No decision will be made on the new flight plan’s future until the end of the year.
Helena Paul, Stop Edinburgh Airspace Trial (Seat) spokeswoman, said campaigners felt the report was “disingenuous” and made “no case for why a new flight path is required”.
She said: “This amateurish report gives rise to serious concerns, they have found the route not to be flyable under all conditions, and their report seems to seriously underestimate the volume of complaints and the sense of outrage people felt, yet they seem determined to press ahead regardless of the misery they cause to thousands of people.”
“It is grossly unfair to impose noise levels of over 80 decibels on people who bought their homes far from any flight paths and had no reason to worry about aircraft noise. The airport can grow without creating new flight paths and imposing noise on people. We will fight this all the way.”
The report also claimed a large percentage of complaints came from the same people – with 40% of all complaints coming from five individuals.
An Edinburgh Airport spokesman said: “As we stated on Monday, the trial was a success on a technical level and we understand the feelings of some residents in surrounding communities.”
Edinburgh airport declares its (fiercely opposed) TUTUR flight path trial a “technical success”
Edinburgh Airport, owned by GIP, ran the deeply unpopular flight TUTUR path trial in mid 2015. The aim was to get aircraft off the tarmac every minute at peak times – such as early morning – rather than every two minutes as is currently the case. And that would help increase the value of the airport, for GIP. Due to intense opposition and thousands of complaints about noise, it was ended two months early. Scottish journalist, Gina Davidson, has written about the problems. Edinburgh airport says it wants to be a good neighbour, but dismissed the mass of complaints about TUTUR as being from a ‘relatively small number of people, living in pockets of West Lothian.’ Unsurprising the airport announced this week that the trial had been a “technical success”.For overflown communities, such as Broxburn, Uphall, Linlithgow, and Blackness, it was not a success. And many of them are sure that even now, planes have not reverted to the old routes – but are still over-flying their homes. Edinburgh airport knows it will have a battle on its hands should it decide to attempt to make the TUTUR route permanent. There is now also a petition about noise in Cramond and Barnton, which are also facing more take-offs over them, in some wind conditions. Opposition is getting organised.
People living with Edinburgh airport plane noise adamant that changes to routes persist
The new campaign group, Stop Edinburgh Airspace Trial (SEAT), was set up last year in response to the suddenly increased noise from the TUTUR trial that started in June 2015 over some areas. They say Edinburgh Airport is planning to impose a “new airspace regime” on the area surrounding it – effectively a secret flight path. The purpose of TUTUR was to see if the airport could increase capacity by cutting the departure interval between flights from two minutes to one. However, people living beneath it have attacked the airport’s lack of transparency. Helena Paul, from SEAT said Edinburgh Airport failed to adequately communicate about the TUTUR experiment with communities.” She also said there were concerns that data from airport-positioned noise monitors would “not adequately reflect the disturbance on the ground”. The trial was stopped 2 months early after nearly 8,000 complaints. Yet SEAT members say they are still hearing about new problems with noise being experience by residents across West Lothian and into Fife. There are complaints that planes are more frequent, lower and louder. But the airport says: “Aircraft have been flying in and out of Edinburgh Airport on the same routes for 40 years; they are not flying any lower or louder than they did in the past.” This a now familiar pattern – residents and airports not agreeing. The airport will publicise the results of the trial later this month.