Edinburgh Airport’s flight path plans divide local communities

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Edinburgh Airport has clashed with local communities after its plans for proposed changes to flight paths were met with negative reactions from the public.

Concerns were raised last year after a trial of a new flightpath over West Lothian was cut short after thousands of noise complaints from residents in communities including Uphall and Dechmont who claimed that they had been “brought to tears” by sound from low-flying planes.

In a bid to connect to the public, Edinburgh Airport has launched a campaign online and on social media with the hashtag #letsgotogether. The website offers options for users to read the FAQs, read the consultation material, submit a response and check their postcode to see how the changes will affect their area. The ‘Let’s Go Further’ survey, which closed at midnight on Monday, asked people what “local factors” should be taken into account in designing the potential route. The website has already seen over 5000 responses to the proposed changes, which have ranged from the positive to the concerned.

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Edinburgh Airport’s Chief Executive, Gordon Dewar, said “Our international route network has grown to become the envy of many similar sized European airports. The strong levels of growth we have experienced since 2013 resulted in the airport handling over 11.1 million passengers last year.”

“We need to modernise and improve Edinburgh Airport in a way that maximises the benefits across Scotland and minimises the impact on local communities.

“Over the coming days, weeks and months our initial consultation will involve a leaflet drop to over 640,000 doors, will be highlighted via our vast social media reach, targeted through advertising to a TV audience of at least 900,000 as well as an outdoor advertising campaign in arterial routes across Edinburgh and in national and local newspapers adverts.”

The changes are not allowed to happen without the approval of the Civil Aviation Authority and cannot commence earlier than 2018.

Dewar is adamant that there will be significant consultation with local community groups this time round.

“This time last year we were – justifiably in some cases – we were criticised for not engaging thoroughly enough with our neighbouring communities before running a flight path trial.

“We’ve learned our lessons and this time round will do all that we reasonably can to ensure that everyone has their say on the future growth of Edinburgh Airport.”

 

 

 

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