UK aviation authority rejects Edinburgh Airport’s flight path plan

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has rejected the application filed by Edinburgh Airport for changing flight paths.

Airport management intended to change the flight path in a bid to modernise the airspace in view of increasing passenger traffic.

Existing airspace was designed in the 1970s when the airport handled approximately one million passengers annually, but now it handles more than 13.4 million passengers a year with flights to over 150 destinations.

The proposed change would have allowed aircraft to fly towards the west of the Cramond district and along the Firth of Forth after making a 20° turn at the end of the runway.

The plan faced stiff opposition from locals concerned about potential noise pollution and environmental impacts.

Following consultations with the local community, Edinburgh Airport submitted its application to the authority. However, the CAA rejected the plan due to ‘significant’ variation between the final plan and the proposal provided during the consultation exercise.

Edinburgh Airport communications director Gordon Robertson said: “We are disappointed with the CAA’s decision as we believe that it is important that airspace change is addressed for Scotland, allowing the country to continue to benefit from growth in air travel.

“We note that the CAA has based its decision on a view that we submitted a proposal, which does not accord with the material that was provided to stakeholders in consultation, which in the CAA’s opinion could have made people respond differently to the questions asked.

“Specifically, the CAA has noted that by the time the proposal was made, there had been further amendments to the projected levels of traffic for some of the routes that meant further consultation was necessary.”

Robertson added that the airport will restart the consultation process and work towards securing approval for the airspace change programme.