Airport blocks extension to flight path consultation

Edinburgh Airport has blocked an MP’s request to extend its consultation on the controversial E7a flight path proposal.

In a letter sent on Friday, airport bosses also confirmed they would not hold another public meeting alongside the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) until after the consultation ends.

Lesley Laird, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, had sought concessions after residents packed a recent public meeting (pictured above) to express outrage at plans for a flight path over Aberdour, Dalgety Bay, Inverkeithing and North Queensferry.

Lesley, who secured that meeting in Inverkeithing and a week-long extension to the month-long consultation, said the latest response was “extremely disappointing”.

“Airport representatives were given a vital opportunity to act after gauging just how unpalatable this flight path proposal is – and a chance to accept reasonable concessions which, to my mind, constitute a fair consultation process,” she said.

“Instead, the airport believes all questions were adequately addressed. I beg to differ, and I’ve no doubt many people in communities affected by the flight path will too.

”The length of time and scope of this consultation, given there are clearly so many unanswered concerns, is wholly unacceptable.”

The MP asked airport planners to consider an alternative route which would see flights track an ascent east along the Forth, thereby gaining height before turning back on Fife, or missing Fife altogether.

In response the airport said it would gather all opinion during the consultation, re-examine previously considered options and assess all new suggestions.

“The airport claims they can’t propose a path which increases mileage, fuel burn or fuel consumption,” said Lesley, “but that should be weighed against the cost of blighting people’s lives.

“This is a minimal detour which provides immediate noise solutions and should be given the serious consideration it deserves.” 

She added: “Given public feedback, I also requested noise monitors be placed in communities where lives are already made a misery by flight noise. 

“I’ve been told monitors have been purchased and will be placed to evaluate new routes to see how they are performing and offer a comparison against a baseline provided to the CAA

“Again that raises questions about whether data recorded under new permitted flight paths will be appreciably different from actual noise levels currently.”

The airport revealed it had plans to hold a Facebook live session this week with Ricardo Energy and Environment – the consulrtancy firm which carried out the Environmental Impact Assessments – but a date and time is yet to be fixed. 

Lesley is urging residents to submit questions when it does air and to remember to log comments through official channels before the consultation expires on June 28. 

To access the consultation visit http://www.letsgofurther.com/