Scottish Liberal Democrats have hit out at flight path changes proposed by the city’s airport.
The Scottish Liberal Democrats described plans to over-fly South Queensferry for the first time as ‘deeply disappointing’ and called for further consultation with Cramond residents.
MP Christine Jardine, MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton and LibDem councillors Kevin Lang and Louise Young have called for an urgent meeting with the Civil Aviation Authority.(CAA). The proposals to go before the CAA would see South Queensferry included in the flightpath from 2019, ‘where necessary’ with aircraft still flying over Cramond but, according to the airport, moved further away.
Ms Jardine said:
“Communities who have worked so hard and highlighted the impact of the proposed changes to the flightpath will be deeply disappointed by this decision – particularly South Queensferry which was not included in the original consultation.
“While we recognise that Edinburgh Airport have taken on board some of the concerns of the local community, they must show willing to continue the dialogue with residents on reducing the impact of the flightpath changes, particularly in South Queensferry and Cramond.
“The Scottish Liberal Democrats representatives in Edinburgh West will now be seeking an urgent meeting with the Civil Aviation Authority.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for Edinburgh West Alex Cole-Hamilton added:
“I was deeply concerned to learn that despite local objection, following introduction of the new routes, flights will still pass over the western periphery of South Queensferry, at a height of 4-5,000 feet.
“Thanks to efforts of local residents in working with us to make their opposition clear, the airport has offered two significant concessions on this. Firstly, the flightpath over Echline will only be used at peak time, so there won’t be flights throughout the day and none at all during the night; this will be protected by new legislation.
“Secondly, whilst the new flightpaths were all going to come on stream next year, the flightpath over South Queensferry won’t become operational until 2019 - again due to local pressure.
“Whilst this is an improvement on the original proposals, we remain totally opposed to the inclusion of the airspace above South Queensferry in the redesign. South Queensferry was never part of the original design envelope so nobody from the Ferry participated in the original consultation. This new route was sprung on us when the first draft of the proposals was produced in the Spring.
“Alongside my Liberal Democrat colleagues Christine Jardine MP and Cllrs Lang and Young, we are seeking an urgent meeting with airport bosses and will be making a strenuous objection about the inclusion of South Queensferry in person to the Civil Aviation Authority as they consider these proposals.