Communities not in favour of Edinburgh Airport expansion plans

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The majority of responses to Edinburgh Airport’s public consultation for its expansion proposals were negative, results show.

The results of the survey, which ran between June 6 and September 19, show an overwhelming number of objections to proposals of more flights on different paths as part of a massive expansion.

Airport chiefs say airspace redesign is needed as part of its modernisation plans, but opponents have raised concerns, mainly regarding increased noise over communities under the flight paths.

Controversy has surrounded the plans since the airport changed flight paths without consultation during its TUTOR trial last year.

Following criticism the airport launched a series of public meetings, drop-in sessions, meetings with MPs and MSPs, leaflet distribution to households in the EH, KY and FK postcode areas and a social media campaign before the consultation.

There were 5880 responses – 5791 of those from the public – to the consultation and 85,342 visits to the letsgofurther.com website which outlined the proposals.

Seventy per cent of submissions from community councils which responded were negative – with noise concern the biggest issue.

A total of 71 per cent of the comments from individuals in communities in West Lothian were also negative, while in Falkirk it was 56 per cent and 67 per cent negative in Fife.

Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport’s chief executive, said: “Meeting and listening to people in our neighbouring communities has been an invaluable exercise for us.

“We have learned a lot about their hopes and concerns are in regards to the growth and development of Edinburgh Airport. We’ve run an open and transparent process which has been independently audited by The Consultation Institute who assessed the process as ‘Good Practice’.”

Pressure group Edinburgh Airport Watch say the airport should publish all the responses and is calling for any changes made to airspace since 2015 to be reversed until the consultation process is completely finished.

A spokesperson said: “We are saddened to see that Edinburgh Airport has not followed through on its promises of openness and transparency, and has failed to publish the responses it received to this initial consultation.

“It is clear that the airport does not enjoy any support from communities for the changes to flight paths it says are necessary.”