Bo’ness residents unsure of airport’s flight path plans

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Residents are divided over Edinburgh Airport’s airspace change programme as results of the second consultation were published.

Bo’ness and Blackness respondents did raise concerns over noise, the process of the consultation, the impact on communities and the environment.

Of the 126 responses from the Falkirk Council area, 72 comments were concerned about noise but 89 comments were happy at the decision. The report also said 41 per cent expressed a positive sentiment, 35 per cent negative and 24 per cent neutral.

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said the changes are required to cope with increasing passenger numbers.

Overall of all the 3921 respondents, 52 per cent of the sentiment was negative, 28 per cent positive and 20 per cent neutral.

The airport are to take proposals to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) later this summer.

A final decision by the CAA is expected at the end of the year and if the routes are approved they could be in place by April 2018.

The airport’s chief executive admitted the mistakes made in the process were “embarrassing”, alluding to the loss of nearly 200 responses from the initial consultation but “it did not impair the completeness of the consultation”.

The report published on Wednesday revealed the airport blundered further as the freepost address for responses in the FAQ section of its website was incorrect. It is unknown how many responses were lost.

A spokesperson for campaign group Edinburgh Watch said: “A staggering 52 per cent of responders rejected the proposals, yet astonishingly, the airport maintains it will press ahead with further changes to the airspace. This is simply not acceptable to communities who continue to dispute that these changes are necessary or justified.”

Mr Dewar said: “A change in Edinburgh’s airspace is much needed in order to follow the modernisation of all airspace across the UK, as well as building capacity to meet current and future demand.

“But it must be balanced and managed in a way that benefits Edinburgh and Scotland as a whole and minimises the impact on local communities.”