Fiona Hyslop MSP and Hannah Bardell MP have responded to Edinburgh Airport’s “surprise” announcement of details of their proposals on the Airspace Change Programme and criticised the lack of a proper regulatory framework for decision-making.
Speaking in her Livingston constituency on Friday, Ms Bardell said: “This announcement has taken everyone by surprise; our understanding was that the CAA was not going to publish the details of Edinburgh airports proposals until they had been duly considered by the CAA.
“It speaks to the clear lack of process the CAA has around the issue of airspace change that at the last minute the CAA have made a decision to publicise details ahead of their 16 week review.
“Edinburgh Airport’s decision to accept my suggestion, made at Phase 1, to follow international best practice from airports like Schipol, for example, to operate outwith night time hours is a welcome move but any amendments should be taken back to communities for further consultation.
“I have been fighting the UK government to put a framework in place since I was first elected two years ago, and they have now made progress and agreed with my calls for an Independent Aviation Noise Authority, which is underway and good news.
“However, until that framework is in place no community should be subject to changes. There was cross party representation at the recent public meeting I hosted with the CAA and we are all advocating for the same outcome of a pause and restart once the new regulations are in place.”
Ms Hyslop, MSP for the Linlithgow constituency, commented: “The document with proposed changes produced does not give the public sufficient information and although Edinburgh Airport has said they will produce an explanation, rationale and responses to points made during the consultation we don’t have them now, which is not satisfactory.
“Winchburgh, which was subject to the flawed consultation, looks to be overflown in early morning and Uphall and Dechmont are still subject to three flight paths with no indication if the noisy turn will be south of the M8.
“This is just symptomatic of the fact there is currently no credible robust airspace change process and the UK Government has been too slow to implement a proper replacement. This is all happening with no adequate regulatory framework and no proper process.
“We now have a 16 week wait until the CAA accepts, amends or rejects the proposal, our constituents continue to raise concerns and must not be subject to changes outside of due process.”