SEAT: ‘Stop stalling on flight data access’

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Campaigners against new flight paths at Edinburgh Airport are calling on bosses to stop dragging their heels over access to historic data.

Management from the airport promised access to historic flight data at Blackness Community Council public meeting in March, but residents are still waiting to see it.

The SEAT (Stop Edinburgh Airspace Trial) group want to see the data as members believe it will show there are more planes flying over West Lothian towns and villages compared to before the TUTOR flight path trials started.

Airport chiefs have assured concerned residents that this isn’t the case, but SEAT is demanding proof to bring a conclusion to this particular issue.

The airport’s communications director Gordon Robertson says the delay is partly due to a request by SEAT to see “irrelevant” altitude and speed data that would be a strain on resources to provide.

SEAT spokesperson Helena Paul said: “We reminded the airport that what we are trying to do is to build some bridges with the community that remains very angry and mistrustful of the airport’s actions.

“There are more flights over our village (Blackness) and it is destroying the tranquillity and peace and quiet that makes our communities special, that’s why we came to live here.”

Mrs Paul said SEAT is working on suitable dates to submit to the airport for a group to visit and view the historic data.

A spokesperson for Edinburgh Airport said: “Ms Paul’s claim is wrong, as we have said before – there is no new flight paths above Blackness.

“Our offer for a delegation from Blackness Community Council to visit the airport to see how the Noised and Track Keeping system is managed remains open.”

Absent MPs ‘let us down’

SEAT campaigners say they have been let down by their MPs who did not attend a debate in Westminster Hall regarding the Effect of Aircraft Noise on Local Communities.

Residents in the communities affected by the Edinburgh Airport flight path trials wrote to the three MPs covering the areas – Martyn Day (Linlithgow and East Falkirk), Michelle Thomson (Edinburgh West) and Hannah Bardell (Livingston) – asking them to represent their concerns at the parliamentary discussion on April 20.

None, however, were present at the debate on managing changes to airspace, but did express their disappointment at not being able to attend. They also gave the Gazette their reasons for not doing so.

Mr Day said he had a meeting with MP Angela Leadsom which was scheduled “long before” he was aware of the airspace debate.

Mrs Thomson claimed she hadn’t received any correspondence by any constituents to attend on their behalf. Miss Bardell missed out due to illness.

All three MPs are assuring constituents they are working hard, with other local MSPs, on their behalf to find the best possible outcome for all involved in the flight path issue, and are always open to meeting with constituents to listen to concerns.

A spokesperson for SEAT said: “We are very disappointed none of our elected representatives could make the debate.”