Call for night curfew over new Edinburgh airport flight paths

Airport bosses are being urged to consider a night flight curfew. Picture: Julie Howden

Airport bosses are being urged to consider a night flight curfew. Picture: Julie Howden

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Airport bosses are being urged to consider a night-flight curfew, a decibel limit and special weekend measures to minimise the impact of new flight paths on nearby residents.

Livingston SNP MSP Hannah Bardell also called for an expanded noise insulation scheme, better local transport links and more cash for the airport’s community fund.

She put forward the proposals as part of her submission to Edinburgh Airport’s consultation on flight-path changes designed to allow more planes to cope with growing passenger numbers.

The airport said it had received more than 5000 responses to the consultation.

They will come forward in January with potential routes as “lines on the map” followed by a second 12-week consultation.

But Ms Bardell said: “I have heard from hundreds of local residents regarding the flight-path proposals and the main concern is on the levels of noise of planes taking off and turning.

“Concerns during the flight trial last summer and since have varied from those who had to turn up the volume on their TV, to those who felt they were getting no respite from early morning and late-night aircraft noise rousing them from sleep and having a detrimental impact on their health.”

And she said there ought to be compensation for people having to put up with the nuisance.

She proposed a night curfew – a seven-hour restriction on night flights, which she said was in force in Sydney; a decibel limit on early morning and late-evening flights; and measures to stop people being disturbed too early at weekends.

She said Edinburgh Airport already operated a noise insulation scheme and the decibel level to qualify was due to be reduced, but she said it should be reduced further to cover more homes in Livingston and Broxburn.

She also pointed out while there were direct bus and tram serviced from the centre of Edinburgh to the airport, there was no direct transport link – train or bus – from her constituency to the airport.

“It is only fair that if local people are being asked to take the burden of the noise, disturbance, pollution, and all the negative factors associated with the proposed changes that they also get a fair share of the economic benefits and a direct route to the airport.”

She also suggested the airport should consider a significant increase in its community development fund, which helps finance local projects.

Gordon Robertson, the airport’s director of communications, said the feedback from the consultation had been “excellent” and would help influence the detailed proposals. He said: “We recognise that some people have very real concerns.”