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Airport on course for new flight path

Report backs Edinburgh departures every minute

Edinburgh AirportFlights in and out of Edinburgh Airport at one-minute intervals moved a step closer after research showed last year’s trial route had been a success.

The airport said it achieved all of its objectives and that one minute separation times of departing flights can relieve aircraft congestion and makes the runway more efficient.

It  also said less congestion means reduced fuel burn and CO2 emissions.

Airport  bosses acknowledged that there were noise complaints from neighbouring communities. There were 7,934 complaints from 567 individuals.

More than 57% of these complaints were about aircraft operating on flight paths that have existed since the runway was built in the mid-1970s.

A large percentage of complaints came from the same complainants, with 40% from five individuals.

Between 25 June and 28 October there were 21,691 departures from Edinburgh Airport. Of these 15,917 (73%) departed from runway 24 – flying across parts of West Lothian.

Of the aircraft departing from Runway 24 during the trial, 2,626 aircraft (16%) followed the new departure route. A small number (4.7 %) of were deemed off-track and the route will be reviewed for this issue to be resolved, should the airport decide to apply to make it a permanent.

A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport, said: “The report published today shows the viability of one minute separation times between departing aircraft from Edinburgh Airport during our peak periods – this presents a great opportunity for us to meet the demands of Scotland’s growing international reputation and will enable us to create more jobs and help grow the economy.

“While the trial was a success – there is still work to do both technically and with our neighbouring communities.

“We will continue to work very closely with NATS to address the anomalies which will enable us to meet the demand that comes with running Scotland’s busiest airport.

“The majority of complaints received during the trial period came from a relatively small number of people who live in pockets of communities in West Lothian.”

The spokesman said the decision on the alternative route will be not be taken hastily.

“The trial has allowed us to collect data to inform that decision and should we decide to progress for a permanent change we shall have two 3-month periods of full consultation, an environmental impact assessment and further rigorous tests,” he said.

“All options will be considered and views listened to before we come to our decision later in the year.

“We care greatly about our local standing as we are local ourselves; the vast majority of the people who benefit from the 8,000 jobs that Edinburgh Airport supports live within 20 miles of the airport.

“To this end we have implemented a new noise complaints policy, created an arrivals and departures guide to further explain procedures in place at Edinburgh Airport, met with Community Councils in areas affected to understand local concerns and we will be proactively updating our five year Noise Action Plan and reviewing the way we monitor and mitigate noise from our operations.”

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