Flight path review is delayed by CAA
Campaigners and politicians welcome move
Edinburgh Airport ’ s attempt to make controversial changes to its flight paths has been put on hold after the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) suspended the review into the airport’s submission.
Politicians and campaigners had long raised concerns about the proposed flight paths and asked questions about the consultation process with local communities in West Lothian which many deemed to be flawed.
Now the CAA have said it: “Will not be continuing with Stage 5 of the Airspace Change Process following the airport’s formal application.”
The reason for the CAA’s decision “relate to technical aspects of the proposal, as well as a delay in receiving elements of the submission”.
The CAA also stated that the decision did not reflect the consultation process as they had not yet completed that part of the review when the decision was made.
The aviation authority’s decision was welcomed by campaigners and politicians alike.
A spokesperson for Edinburgh Airport Watch said: “We welcome this news from the regulator, these proposals enjoyed very little support in communities. The airport never needed all these flight paths, they operate fewer take-offs and landings today than 10 years ago.
“We must also remember the tens of thousands of people who continue to suffer daily noise abuse from Edinburgh Airport. The airport cannot continue to ignore the plight of all these people in their homes and we call on them to learn from their past mistakes, and start a proper, meaningful and respectful dialogue with communities that leads to substantial improvements.”
Neil Findlay, Labour MSP for Lothian said: “From the outset the Edinburgh Airport projected flight paths over West Lothian have been flawed and unnecessary.
“The consultation process has been shambolic and was based on out of date data. This has been exposed by both the CAA and members of the community. They should now withdraw proposal in its entirety.”
Fiona Hyslop, SNP MSP for Linlithgow, said: “This is another setback for Edinburgh Airport in terms of their flight path proposals but also in terms of the confidence local people have in the consultation as a whole.
“In their correspondence to me the CAA have stated that their decision does not reflect concerns about the consultation, as they had not completed their review of the consultation when the aforementioned technical concerns came to light. While it is important therefore to stress that Edinburgh Airport is free to re-submit its proposal once they resolved these technical issues, I would urge Edinburgh Airport to continue engaging with local communities to ensure that they are kept informed at every juncture.”
Edinburgh Airport however said they will work with the National Air Traffic Service (NATS) on issues raised by the CAA to allow them to restart the review.
A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said: “Scotland’s first airspace change programme in over 40 years is a complex exercise involving many organisations.
“Our ACP is the first of many and it is clear that all of this needs to be co-ordinated with NATS. We’re clear that our proposal is the best balance achievable in terms of surrounding communities and our operation, and works for Edinburgh and Scotland. We’ll be working with NATS on the co-ordination issues to allow the CAA to restart its analysis so we can develop the airport for the future.”
Edinburgh Airport Have said they will work with the National Air Traffic Service on issues raised so they can restart the review