letters: Residents will be heard on airport flight path plan

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Gina Davidson is wrong in her column (‘We need some moral support’, October 8) to say that Edinburgh Airport is ignoring residents and the Scottish Parliament.

Edinburgh Airport curtailed its airspace trial over West Lothian because it listened to Holyrood and the people affected by the trial. We have recruited more staff to ensure that we are listening to local communities and that all complaints are logged and responded to fully and as quickly as possible.

We are listening and have acted on what we have heard.

We are acutely aware of the difficulty of creating new airspace and the impact of noise on communities who have not been overflown before.

This does not mean that the issue of growth disappears. The consensus in Scotland is that our country needs more links globally and we as an airport have a responsibility to provide them. To do that, we need to increase capacity and this new flight path is part of that plan.

So we will take the information gathered in the trial, analyse it carefully and put our case to the CAA. Initial results have shown strong operational benefits, but a full analysis must be done.

If the trial shows that the new route meets the criteria for success we’ll look to come back in 2016 with a full public consultation to discuss whether the flight path should be made permanent.

We’ll put our case forward to the country on why growth is necessary for our economy. We’ll want to hear from all parties, gather their opinions and debate the issue with them.

Then, as now, no-one will be ignored and all opinions will be of consequence.

Gordon Robertson, Director of Communications, Edinburgh Airport

Ada can help inspire women into IT jobs

As the cry for more IT skills within the workplace is getting more and more pronounced across both the political and business communities, it is perhaps fitting that we should celebrate Ada Lovelace Day today.

The day is set aside to recognise achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and by doing so, inspire more women to take the same path.

A part of the solution to the current skills gap, as agreed by many, is to encourage more women into male-dominated STEM careers and to achieve this we have to start changing perceptions of these subjects both at home and at school.

A recent Accenture survey showed that half of school-age girls in Scotland believe that science and maths subjects are too difficult for them, with 47 percent believing that STEM subjects are a ‘better match’ for boys.

In Scotland we already have many fantastic female role models who are leading businesses, driving innovation and conducting scientific research. We all now need to harness this, share their stories and support more girls to take up and excel in STEM subjects.

We must future-proof our talent pipelines and how much better that would be if we had the skills of the ‘other’ 50 per cent of the population. Making more of Ada Lovelace Day could be a catalyst.

Lucy Murdoch, Accenture Scotland, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh

Anthem fails to lift Scottish sports teams

It has been interesting watching the line-up prior to the games in the Rugby World Cup, grown men shedding a tear during their country’s national anthem.

The only tear likely to be shed during Flower of Scotland is one of embarrassment as the words are completely inappropriate for a national anthem and the tune is a pleasant folk ditty.

I know that our county’s anthem has been discussed many times but the Rugby World Cup has shown us countries with stirring national anthems that enthuse the players before the game. An anthem that inspires the nation, not one that dwells on past battles, however significant, certainly before the next football and rugby world cups as our teams, particularly the football require all the help they can get.

George Ritchie, North Gyle Terrace, Edinburgh

Oxfam should not campaign for socialism

I take Oxfam Scotland’s report on inequality with more than a pinch of salt (October 8).

For a start, thousands of people are at Calais trying to enter Britain in order to enjoy the standard of living of our poorest people. In many cases these migrants have paid thousands of dollars to people traffickers to get that far.

Oxfam Scotland makes a misleading comparison, when it claims that the four richest families in Scotland are worth £1billion more than the poorest 20% of the population.

To fairly assess the wealth of most Scots, you have to include all the free public services and welfare benefits we are entitled to.

The NHS, free education and social security payments do not come cheap. We take all this for granted and forget that it all has to be paid for. If we each had to purchase these on the open market, we would need either a substantial income or significant personal wealth.

Incidentally, since when was it appropriate behaviour for a charity to campaign for socialism?

Oxfam Scotland needs a reality check; most British people are effectively among the rich of the planet. Greater state interference to equalise incomes will only tend to seriously undermine our economic position and impoverish us all.

Otto Inglis, Inveralmond Grove, Edinburgh