Views sought on potential impact of altering flight paths above Edinburgh
Edinburgh Airport has launched a consultation in which it’s looking for views on the potential impact of altering flight paths above Edinburgh and the surrounding areas.
It says the changes would allow for maximum operational benefits and minimise community impact.
The airport, which is the busiest in Scotland, has experienced more growth the in the past three years than it did in the 10 years prior. The strong levels of growth experienced since 2013 resulted in the airport handling more than 11.1 million passengers last year.
It now says that, to make sure it can handle growth efficiency and maintain service levels, it needs modernisation to be able to handle the increase in capacity.
The airspace was designed in the 1970s when the airport had around 1 million passengers per year. With the huge growth of air travel, Edinburgh Airport says it must now modernise this airspace.
Regulations that cover modernising airspace means we the airport is obliged to engage in an Airspace Change Programme (ACP).
This ACP involves a two-stage consultation process: firstly, launching yesterday (Monday, 6 June), and for 14 weeks up to 12 September, it will endeavour to gather views from the public.
The results of this initial consultation will help guide the design and development of potential future flight path options which will be presented in a second consultation stage which is scheduled to start on December 16.
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.
“However, this constant growth in passenger numbers presents us with challenges.
“We need to modernise and improve Edinburgh Airport in a way that maximises the benefits across Scotland and minimises the impact on local communities.
“The objective of the first stage of the consultation is to gain responses from the public that will help us inform the design of any potential future flight paths. We want everyone to know they have the opportunity to have their say on the positioning of potential future flight path changes.
“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. We’ll also be engaging with community groups to help us have discussions in local communities.
“We are absolutely committed to undertaking a robust and meaningful consultation process; to give stakeholders even greater confidence we have commissioned the Consultation Institute to conduct a Quality Assurance of our consultation process.
“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.”