Flight path issue rumbles on

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Linlithgow MSP Fiona Hyslop is calling for an independent watchdog to monitor noise from airports to protect communities living under flight paths.

The issue of noise disruption from new and existing flight paths from Edinburgh Airport over communities in the constituency is continuing to cause serious concern among residents.

Mrs Hyslop’s Westminster colleague MP Hannah Bardell, who represents Livingston constituency communities also affected by the flight paths, demanded the UK Government implement recommendations from the irports Commission Report: Carbon Emissions, Air Quality and Noise.

Mrs Hyslop said: “I would like to congratulate Hannah Bardell MP on securing the debate on Aviation Noise at Westminster last week and would join with her in calling for the recommendations to be implemented for the benefit and fairness to those who find themselves living under a flight path.

“The variations within even existing flight paths which were approved over 40 years ago are causing great concern. I firmly believe there needs to be an independent way to monitor these and assess impact fairly for all those impacted, particularly residents who must bear the brunt of greater noise and air pollution.”

Helena Paul of Pressure group SEAT (Stop Edinburgh Air Space Trial) has welcomed the moves by the local politicians but believes more can be done.

She said: “While broadly supportive of any moves to improve the regulatory framework in relation to aircraft noise, many campaign groups, including SEAT, supporting those suffering on a daily basis from aircraft noise do not view such a body as the single big solution.

“Residents want the noise of aircraft to be reduced, not ‘mitigated’, and not ‘reducing the number of people affected’ if that means merely making noise worse for fewer people.

“There are concerns, both locally and nationally, that such a body would allow the aviation industry to tick the box marked ‘Community Consultation’ without actually having the proper resources or ‘teeth’ to make the tangible difference that residents around many airports in the UK are calling for.”

A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said it is committed to working with MSPs and MPs from all political parties on the issue.

He added: “We take our standing in the local community very seriously indeed – and this has been acknowledged by Hannah Bardell MP who has made clear that Edinburgh Airport has been responsive and open and we welcome any initiative that helps us communicate with our neighbouring communities.

“We have not as yet received any invite from Ms Hyslop, but look forward to hearing from her in the near future.”