Anger over new Fife flight path proposals

Edinburgh Airport bosses have been urged to suspend the public consultation until new noise impact data can be provided.
Edinburgh Airport bosses have been urged to suspend the public consultation until new noise impact data can be provided.

Edinburgh Airport bosses are being urged to rethink controversial flight path changes that could bring misery for thousands of Fife residents.

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP Lesley Laird has joined the growing chorus of angry residents calling for the new proposed E7A route, which will directly affect several communities along the Forth including Aberdour, to be scrapped.

The move comes after around 150 people packed the hall at a public meeting held at Inverkeithing High School on Friday night to protest the airspace change proposal.

Gordon Robertson, Edinburgh Airport’s director of communications faced howls of derision after he said the airport was not obliged to re-consult on this latest flight proposal and reveaed that the airport would only carry out noise monitoring after the consultation had ended.

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) guidelines suggest the new route would create as much noise as a “busy roadside from five metres away” particularly in the late evening and from 6-7am.

Mr Robertson revealed noise monitoring of current flight paths would provide a “baseline of data” to compare with the new flight path but residents protested noise was unbearable already.

If adopted the new proposal would equate to 76 days useage per year, operating between the hours of 6am and 11pm, with a forecast of 42 flights per day by 2019, increasing to 47 by 2024.

Mrs Laird has now called on airport bosses to extend the consutation period beyond the Juen 21 closure date and for representatives from the CAA and Ricardo Energy and Environment – the consultancy firm which carried out the Environmental Impact Assessments to face the public.

“The sheer anger expressed at the meeting left airport representatives in no doubt just how much the lives of residents will be blighted if this proposal goes ahead,” Mrs Laird told the Press.

“We heard from one woman who had no problems living near Heathrow, yet found on a visit to Aberdour that her health was severely impacted by noise.

“Anecdotes like this sum up just how serious an issue this is.

“I’ve also asked the airport to seriously consider an alternative route, which was suggested by Kinghorn Community Council, which would see flights track an ascent east along the Forth, thereby gaining height before turning back on Fife, or missing Fife altogether.”