Residents living under Edinburgh Airport’s trail flight path are looking forward to a “respite” as the trial ends today but worry it could become permanent in future.
With a spike in noise complaints and concerns over air pollution from campaigners since the TUTUR flight path started, bosses at the airport now have to analyse data collected from noise monitors before anything is put in place permanently.
Campaign group SEAT, Stop Edinburgh Airspace Trial, say they have succeeded in their mission, as the trial has come to an end two months earlier than originally planned.
Helena Paul lives in Blackness and has submitted hundreds of noise complaints to the airport. She said: “Thanks to a concerted and determined campaign among many of us - all ordinary residents - we have won two months of respite from the noise and the air pollution, and the disturbance to our lives that was the TUTUR flight path experiment.
“We also won an assurance from the airport that the trial will not continue until a full public consultation has taken place.”
Hundreds of people in Bo’ness, Blackness, Queensferry and Linlithgow as well as many other areas of West Lothian have reported planes over their homes, low and loud – some reaching 90 decibels – waking them in the early hours of the morning and still flying late into the night.
Helena Paul added: “Above all we have exposed the real reasons behind the flight path experiment, it is not about airport expansion, Edinburgh airport could run more flights on the existing flight paths if they wanted to as, according to CAA figures, they operated 15 per cent more flights in 2007.
“This is about increasing the available take off slots, so that the airport is more valuable for when the airport owners – the venture capitalist company, Global Infrastructure Partners, inevitably decide to sell their asset.”
Edinburgh Airport is now the busiest airport in Scotland the trial fllight path allowed planes to take off every minute as opposed to every two minutes.
A spokesperson for Edinburgh Airport said: “To examine only the number of movements without factoring in peak times, size of aircrafts, congested taxiways, increasing demand and the ever growing number of passengers as a measure of how busy any airport and the airspace around it is a gross over-simplification which can lead to a false perspective.
“The fact is that Edinburgh Airport, which is now the busiest airport in Scotland, is on course to for our busiest year every with roughly over two million more passengers than we handled in 2007.”