Edinburgh flight path analysis shows trial was a ‘success’

Chief Executive Gordon Dewar in the control tower at Edinburgh Airport.
Chief Executive Gordon Dewar in the control tower at Edinburgh Airport.

A report on the TUTUR flight path trial has been published today and bosses say more consultation will follow before a permanent decision is made.

The airport said although there was a “peak” in noise complaints during the five month trial, it “achieved all of its objectives” which included increasing airspace capacity and reducing congestion.

Between June and October there were 21,691 departures from Edinburgh Airport. Of these 73 per cent departed from Runway 24 – flying across parts of West Lothian. Of the aircraft departing from Runway 24 during the trial, 16 per cent followed the TUTUR departure route.

There were 7,934 complaints noise complaints taken from 567 individuals throughout the trial, but the airport said 40 per cent of these came from five individuals.

The main finding showed the airport could achieve one minute separation of departing planes at peak times.

A spokesman for the airport said: “While the trial was a success – there is still work to do both technically and with our neighbouring communities.

“The majority of complaints received during the trial period came from a relatively small number of people who live in pockets of communities in West Lothian. While the majority of these complaints did not relate to flights on the TUTUR flight path - we take our neighbours’ concerns seriously.

“The fact that the majority of complaints during the trial were not about flights on the TUTUR flight path and were in fact about existing flight paths gives us food for thought about the benefit of a potential full consultation - with people in Edinburgh, The Lothians and Fife - on modernising all of our airspace to enable growth with minimal disruption.

“We care greatly about our local standing as we are local ourselves; the vast majority of the people who benefit from the 8000 jobs that Edinburgh Airport supports live within 20 miles of the airport.

“To this end we have implemented a new noise complaints policy, created an arrivals and departures guide to further explain procedures in place at Edinburgh Airport, met with Community Councils in areas affected to understand local concerns and we will be proactively updating our five year Noise Action Plan and reviewing the way we monitor and mitigate noise from our operations.”

The airport said a decision would not be taken hastily and that further consultation and an environmental impact assessment will take place before a decision is made later this year.