Residents say no to flight path plans

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The majority of residents have rejected Edinburgh Airport’s airspace change programme.

Linlithgow and Winchburgh respondents raised concerns about noise, the process of the consultation, the impact on communities and health.

Business at Edinburgh Airport, pictured, and Glasgow Airport is booming. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Business at Edinburgh Airport, pictured, and Glasgow Airport is booming. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said the changes are required to cope with increasing passenger numbers.

Overall, of the 3921 respondents, 52 per cent were negative, 28 per cent positive and 20 per cent neutral.

In West Lothian, there were 1579 responses and all but three were about noise. The sentiment expressed was 48 per cent negative, 31 per cent positive and 21 per cent neutral.

Commenting on the figures, Linlithgow MSP Fiona Hyslop said they were a clear sign the airport must do more to engage with communities and find solutions before taking proposals to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) later this summer.

In Edinburgh, there were 794 responses with almost 1000 comments on noise. The sentiment expressed according to the report was 64 per cent negative, 23 per cent positive and 13 per cent neutral.

A final decision by the CAA is expected at the end of the year and if the routes are approved they could be in place by April 2018.

The airport’s chief executive admitted mistakes were “embarrassing”, alluding to the loss of nearly 200 responses from the initial consultation but said “it did not impair the completeness of the consultation”.

The report published on Wednesday revealed the airport blundered further as the freepost address for responses in the FAQ section of its website was incorrect. It is unknown how many responses were lost.

Campaign group Edinburgh Watch said: “A staggering 52 per cent of responders rejected the proposals yet, astonishingly, the airport maintains it will press ahead.”

Mr Dewar said: “A change in Edinburgh’s airspace is much needed. But it must be managed in a way that benefits Edinburgh and Scotland as a whole.”