Residents worried about flight path proposals

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Residents vented their frustration over Edinburgh Airport’s controversial flight path proposals at a public meeting on Tuesday.

The potential impact of more aircraft overhead on health and additional levels of noise and air pollution in parts of Edinburgh, Fife, Falkirk and West Lothian are major concerns.

The event, at Livingston Football Club, was well attended and chaired by Neil Findlay MSP.

A number of local campaigners voiced concern to Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar about the consultation process and the proposed flight paths.

Edinburgh Airport Watch said: “The people attending the meeting on Tuesday were rightly very worried about the life changing implications of the airport’s proposals and clearly do not trust what the airport is telling them.”

The airport state the flight path proposals are part of the plan to modernise the airspace to handle the increased passenger numbers.

They claim the plans will reduce the number of people overflown by 25,000. The second consultation on its airspace change programme runs until the end of April but some residents felt Tuesday’s meeting left more questions than answers.

John Kelly, from Linlithgow, who attended the event, said: “It was unfortunate that Gordon Dewar didn’t have the facts to hand to answer some of the more detailed points and also regrettable that he dodged the question on what is the problem that Edinburgh Airport needs to solve?”

One woman said she was thinking of moving house because the noise is so bad.

Dorothy Garron, 64, from Blackness said: “It is beggars belief that they have done this. If that preferred route goes ahead Blackness could be under three major flightpaths. We would seriously have to think of selling up and moving.”

Residents in South Queensferry, meanwhile, feel their voices haven’t been heard as the original plans in the first consultation didn’t affect them.

However, new flightpaths proposals in the second stage of the consultation do, with a proposed flightpath flying directly over Echline.

Bruce Whitehead, who lives in South Queensferry and is a Labour candidate for Almond Edinburgh, attended the meeting on Tuesday and said there wasn’t a lot of 
“clarity” from the airport.

He said: “We want the airport to come along and make a better presentation.

“I have invited Gordon Dewar along to a new meeting but he has said he is unable to meet us and won’t send a representative. There is a huge interest in the public meeting – people are furious.”

The open meeting has been planned at Echline Primary on Tuesday, March 28, from 7pm.

The airport has already planned a community drop-in session on April 6 at the Rosebery Hall from 2pm-7pm.

Local MSP Fiona Hyslop is urging residents to submit their views on the consultation.

A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said: “These meetings have been a valuable listening exercise for us to gather feedback and opinions as well as share information with hundreds of people.”