Conservative MSP Gordon Lindhurst has used a Parliamentary debate this afternoon to urge Edinburgh Airport to consider local concerns over changes to its flight paths.
The MSP was speaking in a debate led by Neil Findlay MSP which focussed on the ‘Let’s Go Further’ flight path consultation process, which has come under fire from various communities across Lothian and beyond.
In particular, Lindhurst discussed some of the data being used by the Airport, which includes 2011 census data not covering new build housing in places such as East Calder and Winchburgh. Although the Airport has clarified that it uses up to date information, including local development plans and population projections, Gordon used his own Parliamentary Motion last month to urge the Airport to take all of these factors into account so that those who have moved into new developments since 2011 are effectively represented.
Lindhurst also highlighted the difference between the first and second consultations, and the fact that some communities found themselves outside the flight paths during the first consultation but directly under the flight paths in the second consultation, without having commented during the first one after having checked the consultation postcode tracker.
Following the debate, Lindhurst said:
“I welcome the opportunity to have taken part in this debate today.
I am aware of the strength of feeling caused by this issue, having been contacted by a number of constituents across Lothian. There are legitimate concerns here that need to be resolved by the airport.
Namely: those people who live in new developments, many of whom moved to these areas attracted by a peaceful existence. It is clear that much has changed in Lothian since the 2011 census and I urge the Airport to ensure that these extra factors, including local development plans, are at the forefront of their thinking.
Engagement must also be stepped up with communities who had checked the postcode tracker during the first consultation and who were told they were not under the flight path. Local residents are clearly surprised at the change and the airport must ensure that they are given every chance to respond.
I look forward to Airport officials reflecting on today’s debate, listening to the concerns of local people and taking action to ensure that all voices are heard in this process.”