Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

New Edinburgh Airport flight plans consultation

Edinburgh Airport Image copyright Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport has launched the second phase of consultation on proposed new flight paths.

The airport's operators said its preferred options would see 25,000 fewer people being directly under approach and take-off routes.

More than 5,000 people responded to the first round of consultation which ended in September 2016.

Any change to flight paths around the airport would have to be approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Local campaign group Edinburgh Airport Watch said the flight path changes would have "a negative affect on the health and well being of hundreds of thousands of people across West Lothian, Falkirk and Fife".

Edinburgh, which is Scotland's busiest airport, said modernising its use of airspace was needed to handle "strong levels of growth" in traffic.

Chief executive Gordon Dewar said: "Edinburgh Airport and the aviation sector in general are strongly growing parts of a still sluggish Scottish economy - and we have to get this right for the sake of jobs in Scotland and environmental considerations.

"At the very heart of our proposals are the findings of the initial consultation - we have listened to the public in finding a solution.

"The bottom line is that our proposed changes would mean a reduction in noise for nearly 25,000 people."

He added: "In this second stage of public consultation we will be reaching out again to our neighbouring communities.

"Our community engagement campaign will be backed up by media advertising and a locally-targeted social media campaign to provide information relating to drop-in sessions and links to the feedback pages of the website."

Image copyright Edinburgh Airport
Image caption The airport's chief executive says it has been listening to the public

Mr Dewar said he had written to more than 640,000 households across Edinburgh, the Lothians, Falkirk and Fife outlining the design of the flight paths and seeking the public's views on the proposals.

Plans to allow for further expansion of traffic at Edinburgh Airport have attracted criticism from environment campaigners.

Transform Scotland, the campaign for sustainable transport, voiced its opposition during the first phase of consultation.

Director Colin Howden said: "Aviation is the most polluting form of transport and one that threatens Scotland's ability to meet its climate change commitments."

A spokeswoman for Edinburgh Airport Watch said: "We encourage people to read the airport's document carefully and to respond before the 30th April. Even if you already responded to the first consultation, we urge people to respond again.

"The cost of unfettered aviation expansion is poorer air quality, traffic chaos on the roads around the airport, more noise misery for neighbours - some of them now 20 miles or more from the runway - and a worsening of Scotland's already enormous tourism deficit as people take their money out of our economy and spend it elsewhere.

"It is difficult to see what sustainable benefit there can be to Scotland or the local area from allowing this airport to expand any further."

Subject to CAA approval, the proposed flight path changes could come into effect from spring 2018.

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