Fife communities urged to continue to speak out on aircraft flight paths

Edinburgh Airport. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Edinburgh Airport. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Residents in Fife’s coastal communities are being urged to keep voicing their views in the next stage of Edinburgh Airport’s flight paths consultation.

Thousands of leaflets outlining the next stage of the process have been sent out to homes around Kirkcaldy, Kinghorn and Burntisland this week asking people to comment on the preferred options for future arrival and departure flights from the airport which is set to expand in coming years.

And a local councillor says that, while it seems that the concerns and alternative routes highlighted by residents in Kinghorn and Burntisland appear to have been take on board in the preferred options, people must continue to voice their views to ensure they are listened to.

Councillor Susan Leslie told the Press: “There was particular concern in Kinghorn and Burntisland about flights at low level over the towns.

“A strong case was made by many of us to take the new flights paths over the sea and the Firth of Forth to avoid flying over populated areas.

“The proposals that have now come forward for consultation would appear to show that the Airport authorities have listened to us, but it is now important for people to respond to this second consultation process.”

Alan McIlravie, chairman of the Royal Burgh of Kinghorn Community Council, which submitted a lengthy document last summer recommending that more use be made of the North Sea and the Firth of Forth, said: “While we welcome what the initial consultation has shown, we would hope that this will promote further discussion on the wider use of air space, making better use of the sea around us.”

Last summer the airport operators asked for residents’ views to help shape their proposals for its Airspace Change Programme (ACP) and many communities in Fife responded.

The airport’s operators said its preferred options would see 25,000 fewer people being directly under approach and take-off routes.

More than 5000 people responded to the first round of consultation which ended in September last year.

Any change to flight paths around the airport would have to be approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) before they could go ahead.

Edinburgh Airport is Scotland’s busiest and operators say that modernising its use of airspace is necessary to cope with “strong levels of growth” in traffic.

The Edinburgh Airport authorities say the changes aim to minimise the number of people impacted by flights below 4000 feet; ensure the airport can meet its future demand by increasing the capacity of its runway; allow more flights to depart with fewer delays; make efficiency improvements to arrival routes based on a newly-positioned hold pattern and position aircraft more accurately, allowing more accurate arrival and departure routes.

The consultation period lasts until April 30 and can be accessed at www.letsgofurther.com.