Thu 27 Apr, 2017

This consultation is not fit for purpose and should be halted immediately. Mark Ruskell MSP

Scottish Green MSPs today used a Holyrood debate on Edinburgh airport's expansion plans to call on the Scottish Government to step in and halt the company's flawed consultation.

Last week 20 community councils affected by the plans came together at a summit meeting at Holyrood hosted by Mark Ruskell, Scottish Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife.

In today's debate, Mr Ruskell said:

"These proposals will impact heavily on West Fife. Dalgety Bay alone will go from being overflown on 70 days per year, to potentially facing flights 365 days per year, 18 hours per day, with no respite.

"This unfair consultation pitches communities against each other. Instead we need to agree that this consultation is not fit for purpose and should be halted immediately.

"Last week, I held a meeting in parliament for affected Community Councils. Representatives from 20 councils, across 6 local authority areas attended, and each had their own story to tell about how they felt misled, or ill-informed. There is no information on the social, economic or environmental impact of the proposed routes, because these assessments have simply not been done.

"The Scottish Government must step in and force the CAA to put a halt to this consultation."

Also speaking in the debate, Andy Wightman, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, said:

"This consultation has been seriously flawed, the airport operators have misled the public and have displayed an arrogance and contempt for public opinion. Edinburgh Airport, NATS and the CAA have virtually all the power. They got it from Conservative Governments who privatised the airports, who privatised NATS and who created the modern CAA whose statutes privilege commerce and the needs of the private airline industry.

"Are these proposals in the public interest or are they designed to boost the asset value of a company to be sold off at profit in the years ahead by a bunch of faceless offshore speculators? Edinburgh Airport exercises power in the interest of its faceless shareholders in far-away tax havens."

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