We think there needs to be a halt to unfettered airport expansion whilst we seriously consider Scotland’s connectivity needs.Mark Ruskell MSP
Green MSPs have welcomed the news that plans for new flight paths out of Edinburgh Airport have been put on hold, but say that proper consideration need to be given to Scotland’s transport priorities before the plans can continue.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced that it will not proceed with the airport’s application due to technical issues with the plans.
Thousands of households in Fife and West Lothian were set to see a huge increase in the number of planes flying overhead, and over 5,000 people took park in the initial consultation.
A coalition of community councils and elected representatives wrote to the CAA back in May asking for the consultation to be halted due to concerns over a lack of clarity in the proposals. Residents said it was unclear as to how many flights would be passing over head, at what times, and what the noise and environmental impacts would be.
Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife Mark Ruskell said:
“These plans have been arrogantly rushed through by Edinburgh Airport and the result has been flaws at every stage of the consultation. Now we learn that even the technical aspects of the proposal were not up to scratch, and we’re pleased to see the CAA taking their duty as regulators seriously and putting a halt to these plans.
"This is only a temporary reprieve for local communities though, as the airport can still re-submit their application. We think there needs to be a halt to unfettered airport expansion whilst we seriously consider Scotland’s connectivity needs. The airport has said they are looking to increase peak time capacity, when many of the flights leaving are to London or other parts of the UK. Proper investment in rail could easily meet this demand without sacrificing the health and wellbeing of local communities.
"This includes pulling the plug on the Scottish Government’s planned cuts to Air Departure Tax, which only reinforces the myth that unsustainable growth in aviation is a good thing.”
Further detail on the reasons behind the CAA’s decision is due to be published next week.