Edinburgh Airport has launched a public consultation over proposed flightpath changes. The two-stage Airspace Change Programme was initially launched on June 6 and will run for 14 weeks. This will influence the design and development of potential routings that will be presented at a second consultation stage due to start in December.
Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport’s Chief Executive, said: “Our international route network has grown to become the envy of many similar-sized European airports. The strong levels of growth we have experienced since 2013 resulted in the airport handling over 11.1 million passengers last year. However, this constant growth in passenger numbers presents us with challenges.”
The CEO added: “We need to modernise and improve Edinburgh Airport in a way that maximises the benefits across Scotland and minimises the impact on local communities. The objective of the first stage of the consultation is to gain responses from the public that will help us inform the design of any potential future flight paths. We want everyone to know they have the opportunity to have their say on the positioning of potential future flight path changes.”
Faced with growing traffic levels, the airport has worked for several years to revise its airspace that was originally designed in the 1970s when the facility was handling around 1m passengers per year. The latest round of consultation follows the successful but unpopular TUTUR flight trails that ended last October. This entailed the temporary use of a new GPS-derived RNAV1 departure path for aircraft using Runway 24, routing initially to the north and across the Firth of Forth before turning southeast to the TUTUR waypoint. According to Edinburgh Airport, 2,626 aircraft (12.1% of all departing traffic) used the trail routing between June 25 and October 28, during which time the facility received 7,934 noise complaints from 567 individuals. The airport added that 57% of those complaints did not relate specifically to aircraft using the TUTUR routing, while 40% of all complaints came from just five individuals.