Edinburgh Airport flight path plans altered slightly after public consultation with negative responses
Edinburgh Airport said it has modified its proposals for changes to its flight paths following its latest public consultation. It has submitted these revised airspace change proposals to the CAA. Residents living under the new routes said they were concerned about increased aircraft noise and the impact on their communities. Campaign group Edinburgh Airport Watch said: “We call on the airport to halt this flawed process now. The CAA must scrutinise this application very carefully, and understand that there is no community support for these changes….We call on our government to intervene and ask serious questions about whose interests are being served by such radical proposals for change to flight paths that will have life-altering consequences for the health and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of people across east central Scotland.” The airport said it would only use any new routes when “they are required, and that we should explain very clearly when that is and why”. It said it had also restricted the routes to peak hours. Campaigners said the airport had only published “vague information” about the changed plans. The airport’s CEO said they will do a phased approach, and the new routes will help the airport handle more planes during the short peak periods. The airport is not busy enough at other times to need them. There have been two public consultations held into the proposals.
Edinburgh Airport said it has modified its proposals for changes to its flight paths following its latest public consultation.
Residents below the new routes said they were concerned about increased noise and the impact on communities.
The airport said it would only use any new routes when “they are required, and that we should explain very clearly when that is and why”.
It said it had also restricted the routes to peak hours.
However, campaigners said the airport had only published “vague information” about the changed plans.
Edinburgh Airport submitted its revised Airspace Change proposal to the Civil Aviation Authority on Thursday.
Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: “The listening exercise we embarked upon has been crucial to our thinking and we have altered our application following the feedback we received, demonstrating the importance of that public engagement.
“We are now favouring a phased approach based on the premise that we should only use any new routes when they are required, and that we should explain very clearly when that is and why.
“We’ve also restricted these routes to peak hours, substantially reducing any potential impact on communities whilst delivering the capacity when it is required.
“We believe this application will deliver future economic growth for Edinburgh and Scotland, and strikes the best possible balance between those benefits and our communities’ requirements, our operational requirements and the requirements of our regulator, the CAA.”
Edinburgh Airport said the changes were necessary to cope with increasing numbers of passengers.
There have been two public consultations held into the proposals.
The results of the first consultation were published in November.
It ended a week later than planned after the airport was forced to apologise for losing almost 200 responses.
Almost 4,000 people responded to a second public consultation proposal.
Campaign group Edinburgh Airport Watch said: “We call on the airport to halt this flawed process now.
“The CAA must scrutinise this application very carefully, and understand that there is no community support for these changes.
“With 52% of responders being ‘negative’, we do not accept that there is any evidence that these changes have any ‘broad support’ among communities as the airport claims.
“Noise complaints to Edinburgh Airport are at record levels, the daily misery being caused to people in their homes, schools and businesses by the airport and its Air Traffic Controllers, NATS, cannot be allowed to continue.
“We call on our government to intervene and ask serious questions about whose interests are being served by such radical proposals for change to flight paths that will have life-altering consequences for the health and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of people across east central Scotland.”
Edinburgh airport unveils plan for major new home and business complex
Edinburgh Airport has unveiled plans for a massive (over 100 acres) business, industrial and housing complex to be built on part of the airport. They are describing it as “one of the best-connected developments in Scotland.” The buildings would extend from south-east of the passenger terminal to nearly as far as the Gogar roundabout. Chief executive Gordon Dewar said an adjacent development area south of the airport which had sought to attract major companies had failed to get off the ground because of the lack of such key infrastructure. He agreed the airport’s plans would provide “a degree of competition” with the proposed International Business Gateway scheme, where he said “nothing has happened” for years. The site will occupy much of the crosswind runway, which the airport said was rarely used. It runs south-east to north-west and cannot be used at the same time as the adjacent main south-west to north-east runway. However, the crosswind runway is used during runway maintenance and resurfacing. Mr Dewar admitted: “It will make it harder to avoid disruption, but we believe we have solutions that will address it.” Land for a planned 2nd runway, which the airport hopes would be needed around 2050, has already been reserved to the north of and parallel with the main runway.
MSP motion lodged at Holyrood about Edinburgh Airport flawed flight path consultation
Neil Findlay MSP (Labour Party) is a firm opponent of the changes to flight paths, overflying many areas that were previously unaffected, that Edinburgh airport is planning. He has lodged a motion at Holyrood about the airport’s current consultation on airspace change. It the motion gets sufficient support from MSPs across at least 3 political parties, it becomes eligible to be debated in the Chamber. Neil Findlay was able to lead a previous members’ debate in September 2015 which led to the scrapping of the airport’s TUTUR flight path trial. Neil has now put down a motion in the Scottish Parliament (Motion S5M-04708) saying: “That the Parliament notes what it sees as the growing concerns about Edinburgh Airport’s plan to introduce new flight paths; and asking “Edinburgh Airport scraps what is considered this flawed consultation and begins the process again with up-to-date information and a more robust and credible consultation process.” People in Scotland are encouraged, by Edinburgh Airport Watch, to contact their MSP by email to ask them to sign his motion. The consultation by Edinburgh airport is inadequate, contains incorrect information, and is based on faulty data. But the altered routes would inflict noise on new areas, and for huge numbers of those sensitive to noise, have life changing consequences.
Edinburgh airport flawed and inaccessible consultation on airspace changes condemned by opponents
On 2nd February, Edinburgh Airport launched its second consultation, which closes on 30th April, on its airspace change programme. The consultation is very hard for a layperson to understand, with voluminous documents. The aim is to make more “efficient” use of airspace – ie. fit in more planes, especially at the few times of day when Edinburgh airport is particularly busy, like early morning. People are asked to comment on various route options, many of which mean new areas overflown, and some areas newly intensely overflown, under narrow PBN routes. Hundreds of local people, who will be badly affected by some of the proposed changes, have attended packed public meetings. The local group Edinburgh Airport Watch (EAW) are very worried about the lack of justification for the plans. There are no projected numbers on flights, types of planes, the times of day that planes may fly. EAW say the noise shadows created by the proposed flight paths will be enormous, and will affect hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom will not have been exposed to aircraft noise before. Areas excluded from the initial stage consultation were excluded from the published swathes, told they would not be affected and now find flight paths directly over them. Not surprisingly, they are furious. Neil Findlay MSP has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament, asking that the consultation be re-done, with proper information.