The pandemic has changed the way we work and travel. But as we begin to move out of lockdown, proposals are underway for new flight paths from Edinburgh airport, taking over the skies above Fife and the Lothians, and adding to Scotland’s dangerously high carbon emissions. We’re calling on Edinburgh Airport to scrap the proposed expansion of flight paths, and on the Scottish Government to make rail the go-to choice for domestic travel instead of flights. 

Back in 2017, Edinburgh Airport submitted plans to increase their flightpaths in and out of the airport from four to ten, with a proposal to double the number of flights taking off at peak times. These new routes would have impacted tens of thousands of homes in Fife, Falkirk and the Lothians, leading to increased noise around the clock, and potentially driving up emissions from aviation in Scotland. 

Following a strong campaign from local communities, the Civil Aviation Authority rejected the proposed flight paths in 2018 due to serious reservations about the consultation process. Yet just a few months later Edinburgh Airport resubmitted their plans. 

The process has been on hold since April 2020 due to the pandemic, and we’re now calling on Edinburgh Airport to scrap these plans for good. Lockdown has shown how much people value the right to a peaceful home, and the switch to online working has slashed the demand for domestic air travel.

We’re also calling on the Scottish Government to lock in these behaviour changes by targeting pandemic recovery support towards rail, to ensure low-carbon trains are the first choice for domestic travel in mainland UK. This will not only contribute significantly towards Scotland’s climate change targets, but also take the threat of future flight path expansions off the table for good.  

Aviation will still have a role to play in Scotland’s future, but we need to act now to ensure the recovery from the pandemic is sustainable and we lock in behaviour changes now that will help us meet our climate goals in the future. 

Sign our e-action today to send a letter to Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport’s Chief Executive, and Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, asking them to scrap the flight path plans and ensure we don’t return to the high levels of domestic flights which take over the skies above our heads and threaten our chance to tackle the climate emergency. 

Write to Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport’s Chief Executive, & Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity

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