Edinburgh Airport has announced the 2nd phase of their consultation to change the existing arrival and departure routes and increase the capacity of the airspace around the airport.

Their aim is to increase departures to a one minute interval on early morning slots and to introduce 5 new flight paths giving a total of 8 they could use. This will result in concentrated over-flights for many residents that have not been affected before.

The change will also be used to introduce RNAV GPS tracker technology so aircraft can fly on a more accurate flight path. Note that other airport operators have implemented this technology without having to change flight paths to do so.

There was a 71% negative response to flight path changes from West Lothian residents in the 1st phase of the consultation but the 2nd phase has gone ahead regardless.

This is also despite representation by the SNP’s Fiona Hyslop MSP to postpone the 2nd phase whilst a major review into flight path consultations is underway by the CAA. It will look at how they can be better conducted with local community input, to ensure proper scrutiny and validation, as well as making the end-to-end process more open and transparent.

In addition, SNP MP Hannah Bardell has succeeded in getting the UK government to hold a consultation on the proposal of an Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise.  Currently, airports have to operate within outdated CAA guidelines which are not set up for modern communications or the expectations of community engagement.  

Recent reports have shown appreciable health effects caused by noise and air pollution around airports but Edinburgh Airport has confirmed that health impacts will not form part of the reasoning in this consultation.

The 1st phase consultation excluded areas, like Winchburgh and East Calder, which are now directly on a proposed route. The airport is using population data from the 2011 census which does not take into account new build communities and will not consider future planned developments of housing and schools.

West Lothian is disproportionately affected as, due to the prevailing wind, 75% of departures go out in a westerly direction. The actual number of flights is still fewer than in 2007. The increase in passenger numbers is due to bigger aircraft. The airport is still operating well below capacity.

It is vital that as many people as possible make their voices heard on Edinburgh Airport’s 2nd phase proposals before the 7th May.

Go to the consultation webpage to see the proposed flight paths and submit a response: http://www.letsgofurther.com

Or by writing to: Freepost LETS GO FURTHER, The Consultation Co-ordinator, Edinburgh Airport, PO Box 17473, Edinburgh, EH12 1ND.

For more information on the Major CAA consultation on UK airspace change process please click here

For aircraft tracking around Edinburgh airport with filtering on day/night, proximity, altitude and aircraft go to flights.lingbrae.com

West Lothian Council submission: Edinburgh Airport Phase 2 Consultation on Airspace Change