Edinburgh flight path change gets lift-off despite opposition

Airport chiefs have said that the new flight path will allow the airport to be more flexible with traffic. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Airport chiefs have said that the new flight path will allow the airport to be more flexible with traffic. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Edinburgh Airport is set to press on with introducing a new controversial flight path route, despite widespread public objection.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) put the airport’s initial submission on pause in September last year and asked bosses to review part of the design.

A fresh proposal has now been resubmitted to the authority, with aircraft to fly towards the west of Cramond and along the Firth of Forth under the plan.

The airport carried out a consultation on the changes to its initial proposal between May and June, with 89 per cent of the 1,167 participating in opposition to the flight path.

Airport chiefs say the route will allow the airport to be more flexible with flights while building increased capacity for future growth.

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: “Vast growth at the airport, as well as the change in technology, means we need to modernise our airspace to meet current and future demand and it is a process many airports are looking at.

“Our approach at Edinburgh Airport must be one that is balanced between the needs of the airport and the economy and customers we serve as well as those of our neighbouring communities. We believe our proposals do that.

“Although there was no requirement to consult, we wanted to go back to our communities to listen to their valued feedback and understand their concerns. They were part of a wider conversation with our airlines and other partners, who all have an interest in this process and our proposals take into account all of that dialogue.” Campaigners argue airport bosses have failed to consider other viable flight path alternatives, as well as the impact the new route will have on the environment and residents’ wellbeing.

Helena Paul, from Edinburgh Airport Watch, has urged the CAA to reject the new proposals, insisting the airport needs to scrap the plans and start again.

She said: “The airport needs to engage meaningfully with communities.

“Eighty-nine per cent opposition to a flight path indicates very serious and reasonable community concern, which the airport would be wise to heed.

“The airport’s three flawed consultation processes have been comprehensively rejected by the people who will bear the brunt of changes to flight paths.”

“Alternatives have been suggested, particularly a right- turn on departure off the end of the runway towards Cramond to use the wider part of the Forth to gain height before flying over people’s homes.”