Questions for airport consultation

Representatives from Kirknewton Community Council, East Calder and Calderwood will be speaking directly with the CEO of Edinburgh Airport directly before the consultation day in the Kirknewton Village Hall from 2pm – 7pm.

KCC believe the airport have ‘listened’ and ‘ignored’ what the local community have had to say up to this point and hope we can turn that around.  Following our broad initial statement to the Local Authority last week we will have the following questions and points to ask in the hour long meeting.  These may be questions you’d like to follow up on an individual basis at the drop in session?  We encourage everyone, no matter what your opinion, to attend that session today if you can.  Get your voice heard!


Questions for airport meeting

Is it EAL’s intention to fly only turboprops on the A-TALLA route affecting Calderwood, East Calder and Kirknewton and do they have Air Traffic Control’s agreements to that?

Why was this not made clear in the main proposal document but only implied in the technical noise analysis passport? What are the consequences for EAL if it gets approval for A-TALLA with turboprops but sends jets down that route instead?

Is EAL’s main purpose to push numbers through it’s retail outlets rather than provide a transport service? Are there pressures to make changes so investors can sell the asset at a later date?  As we must reduce carbon emissions would we not be better enabling investment in potentially carbon free rail transport instead of enabling short distance flights – investment which will be curtailed if the airport’s expansion plans are allowed to go ahead?

Why was Calderwood’s anticipated population disregarded?

Once that figure is added to East Calder and Kirknewton, the 14000 far exceeds Polmont. Polmont is the existing route and the aircraft are at what estimated altitude by that point, some 15 miles from the airport?

What is the anticipated altitude above ground level of aircraft at Calderwood?

The CO2 saving is less than one percent for a short haul flight. Why is that important when it’s the other 99% that needs to be dealt with? Can we see you arrived at your figures on C02 savings.

Why does it appear that Winchburgh and Kirknewton were spun the same misinformation – ie that we were not on the response database because we were unlikely to be affected by changes to flight paths?

Why was EH27 not in the consultation.  How many EH27 address participated.  What was the percentage of those for and against your proposal in the EH27/EH28 postcodes.

What concerns do you have re proposed use/developments at Kirknewton airfield.

What advice does the airport have in matters relating to flightpath over a number of schools?

Are you flying the A6 route already?

If the proposed routes do go ahead (over Kirknewton or not) will Kirknewton see an increase in airplanes during inclement weather.  Are we already seeing that?

Other points

1)     Maintain the status quo.

2)     According to the noise maps provided some Jet traffic if routed this way could generate in excess of 80dB as they pass East Calder.  We realise departure A6 is stipulated as turboprop only however, as the current Talla 6C departure is marked as “Jet only in exceptional circumstances” (ref. EDI airport AOI) and is in fact used routinely what will the reality be?.  Noise on this level has been shown to be detrimental to health, as has the 60-70dB that turboprops could generate overhead East Calder and is certainly not in keeping with the quiet country life.

Current noise restrictions only allow for a turn after passing 3000′ or the UW (whichever is earlier) to mitigate noise for the local population. The new track A6 would likely infringe upon this. What is currently unacceptable for noise should not be acceptable post airspace revision.

East Calder must be included as a separate entity due to both its current size and future size. There is currently permission from West Lothian council allowing for c3000 new homes which will provide accommodation for around 10,000 additional residents.

The visual impact of changes in airspace was one of the key items listed during initial consultation.  We cannot imagine a bigger visual impact than the one route A6 would make.  The current plan shows aircraft would route via the shortest possible route towards Almondell and Calderwood Country Park. We believe the new flight path has completely ignored your visual impact criteria in favour of improving the departure flow rate by moving turboprops out of the way as soon as possible.

The expanded East Calder will make it the closest town on a departure route. As you are aware noise reduces significantly with aircraft height. I ask that you select route A3 as an alternative as it ensures that no population is subjected to the increase in low level noise that East Calder would. The populations affected by A3 already experience aircraft noise and would have a reduction in overall noise levels due to the new routes B2 and D0 carrying some of the existing traffic.  It should also be noted that these populations have been on a departure route for over 40 years allowing for any health or economic impact has long been taken into account unlike for the population of East Calder.

3) The numbers do not seem to add up. Those people on existing flight paths will still be under a  flight path and new communities will be added. Therefore more people will be affected by noise. Those people under existing flight paths will have intensification of noise as the intension will be to put more jets on once the slower turbo props have been moved out of the way onto new routes. Is this not the case?

4) There is conflicting information. On page 39 it is stated that route A6 is needed for turbo props and on page 46 the noise contours are for an Airbus 330. This is a jet. Is their intention to fly jets on this route?

5) The vectoring route plan conflicts with the words on the same page (page 44). Here the plan shows the planes changing course from 3,000 feet, however the words on the same page say this cannot happen until 6,000 feet. Which is right?

6) If it is the 3,000 feet level then they would be crossing the route of A7 which was deemed unacceptable. Why would this be in order?

7)  There are anomalies between the First and Second consultation material. The First consultation had plans at pages 48 and 49. These plans should the over flown areas at below 4,000 feet and between 4,000 and 7,000 feet. On this plan all of Kirknewton is shown as having aircraft passing at below 4,000 feet indeed nearer 3,500 feet. Turning to the Phase 2 consultation at page 44 a graduated flight path shows a height of nearer 4,500 feet in this location. This is a 1,000 feet of difference. Which is correct?

8) The vectoring as shown interferes with the workings of RAF Kirknewton. Why should this be in anyway compromised by the actions of the Airport when these actions are only to create more value for the Airport and allow them to intensify other routes with more jet movements.

9) The proposal to close route A6 when the RAF gliding school is in use will only mean that these flights will have to use another route, pulling potentially even more people into the effect of noise. This is a very poor idea. Allied to this this is just the sort of arrangement that leads to accidents and is inherently unsafe and should be avoided.

10) What conversations have been had with with RAF Kirknewton on the above matter – what is their position?

One comment

  1. Thankyou for this. Not sure I will be able to make the meeting due to work commitments, so a couple of additional questions…

    Is use of this flightpath in preference to others already a ‘done deal’ and, if not, what are the next steps to formal decision?

    Also, is the current noise/frequency of disturbance as much as it will be once decisions are made, if they aren’t already, or can we expect it to get worse?

    Finally, is there to be another meeting outside of core working hours, so more people can attend?


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