Edinburgh Airport is to press on with its use of controversial new flightpath route over Fife despite widespread public objection.
Aiport bosses have today announced they are to adopt the E7a take off route, which affects Fife communities including Kinghorn, Burntisland, Aberdour and Dalgety Bay, even though the vast majority of those who responded to the public consutation rejected the route.
They say the new route will allow the airport to be more flexible with flights while building increased capacity for future growth.
A proposal has now been submitted to the industry regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), for final ratification.
Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: “Vast growth at the airport as well as the change in technology means we need to modernise our airspace to meet current and future demand, and it is a process many airports are looking at.
“Our approach at Edinburgh Airport must be one that is balanced between the needs of the airport and the economy and customers we serve as well as those of our neighbouring communities – we believe our proposals do that.
“Although there was no requirement to consult, we wanted to go back to our communities to listen to their valued feedback and understand their concerns. They were part of a wider conversation with our airlines and other partners who all have an interest in this process and our proposals take into account all of that dialogue.”
Over 1,100 people submitted their views to the flight path consultation with an overwhelming 94 per cent rejecting the airport’s prefered take off route option.
Campaigners had argued that airport bosses had failed to consider other viable flight path alternatives, as well as the impact the new route will have on the environment and residents well-being.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Lesley Laird, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, said the decision was “hugely disappointing” considering the level of concern and objections from residents.
“I’m sure residents who took time to engage with the consultation will be left wondering if there ever was any real, genuine will to listen to their concerns,” said Mrs Laird.
“Following pressure, the airport has placed one noise monitor in Dalgety Bay, but I’m calling for more monitors to be placed in Inverkeithing, North Queensferry and Aberdour.
“I’ve also flagged up to the CAA what I believe were flaws in the consultation process and I urge the CAA to take on board community concerns before reaching a final decision.
“Public consultations should be so much more than just lip service – and I’ll keep up the fight to exhaust every avenue in our campaign to ensure our communities are listened to.“