Edinburgh flight path protesters take fight to David Cameron

Flight path protesters outside Holyrood. File picture: Lisa Ferguson
Flight path protesters outside Holyrood. File picture: Lisa Ferguson
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CAMPAIGNERS battling the rollout of a controversial new flight path at Edinburgh Airport have signed an open letter to David Cameron calling for a review of airspace policy.

Last year’s flight path trial saw planes directed over Broxburn, Uphall, Dechmont and Blackness for the first time, but the exercise was halted two months early following a barrage of complaints.

However, a report published by airport bosses at the start of this month hailed the trial a “success” – despite admitting thousands of complaints had been received from locals living beneath the route.

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Now Edinburgh campaigners have joined more than 20 groups across the UK in urging the Prime Minister to bring forward a review into airspace policy and the process for consultation and engagement.

Their open letter describes the current approach for making airspace changes as “not fit for purpose” and demands that a moratorium on flight path trials and airspace decisions is introduced until a new policy is put in place. It comes as a government review of airspace policy, expected to take place early this year, was delayed until at least the summer.

Helena Paul, from the Stop Edinburgh Airspace Trial (SEAT), said the government must “work harder” to strike a balance between airport expansion and the wellbeing of locals.

She said: “2015 will be remembered as a terrible summer for thousands of people, some living many miles from Edinburgh Airport, who woke up to find themselves suddenly living under a busy flight path.

“The reality of airspace 
trials is constant and unwelcome noise disruption.”

Edinburgh Airport’s flight path trial over West Lothian – dubbed TUTUR – was launched in an attempt to get planes off the ground every minute at peak times, rather than every two minutes.

An airport spokesman said: “The process followed by Edinburgh Airport was fully compliant with current regulation and guidance as overseen by the Civil Aviation Authority. We will continue to work with regulatory bodies, neighbouring communities and businesses to ensure they all have input into how we deliver the future growth of Edinburgh Airport.”

alistair.grant@edinburghnews.com