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Residents promised noise monitoring

Airport to trial one-a-minute departures on new flight path

Flight pathEdinburgh Airport is to trial one-a-minute flights on a new departure route which it claims will allow it to deal with expected growth in passenger traffic.

Airport management have been on a charm offensive to reassure residents living under the new flight path that noise levels will be monitored.

David Wilson, Chief Operating Officer of Edinburgh Airport, said: “As we continue to see more passengers travel through our airport, it’s more important than ever to increase airspace capacity above Central Scotland to cater for this growth.”

Aircraft currently fly on a network that was designed in the 1970s and the new route will allow them to depart in one minute intervals. It says this will allow the airport “to encourage and maintain safe and sustainable growth whilst ensuring punctuality is unaffected.”

The Airspace Trial will give more modern aircraft the opportunity to take off on a new westerly departure route. The aircraft likely to be using this route are B737s, A319, A320, A321, 787 and A330s.

Aircraft take off in a south westerly direction and turn right towards the River Forth, climbing above water before flying back over land at approximately 13,000ft.

Mr Wilson said: “We’ve taken great care to design this new departure route with the utmost consideration for our neighbours. The route passes over very few populated areas and flies over the river for the bulk of its flight path.

“We’ve actively contacted various local community councils, groups and politicians and will continue to do this regularly to ensure people understand why we’re doing this. This will also help us find out how the new route is impacting on them. We’ll be placing noise monitors along the flight path so we can collect data on the flights and analyse any spikes in noise.”

Making the route permanent would require a statutory change process and involve further public engagement and stakeholder consultation.

To ensure key groups and individuals are kept informed and engaged, Edinburgh Airport has created a dedicated microsite at sid.edinburghairport.com.

As well as explaining about the project, the site features an interactive map showing the exact SID route, estimated minimum altitudes aircraft will be flying at and what level of noise may be generated.

Sandy Legget, General Manager of NATS at Edinburgh, said: “A new departure route would enable sustainable and safe growth at Edinburgh Airport.

“NATS has supported the airport in preparing for this trial, ensuring the design delivers benefits for the airport and airlines and mindful of the airport’s commitment to its local communities.”

Colin Keir, MSP for Edinburgh Western and Convener of the Cross Party Group on Aviation at the Scottish Parliament, said: “I welcome this trial and hope it proves successful in upgrading and improving the flight departure routes.

“The need for this trial surely indicates the success of Edinburgh Airport as a business that is working hard to improve its services while keeping safety and sustainability to the forefront.”

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