Kirknewton Edinburgh Airport meeting – 6th March

A sub group of Kirknewton Community Council met with representatives of Edinburgh Airport on 6th March, before their information day in the Village Hall.


In attendance was Stewart McKenna (Chair KCDT/KCC) , Pat Hastings (KCDT/KCC), Vic Garrad (KCDT/KCC), Kenny Birch (KCDT), Tony Foster (CEO KCDT), Julia Bracewell (Newlands) Robin McGill (Newlands), Neil Lovett (East Calder Community Council), Willie Dunn (Calderwood) and Councillor Carl John

From Edinburgh Airport Limited was Gordon Dewar (CEO) and Gordon Robertson (Communications Director)

Since the last meeting EAL attended and the production of the Consultation Book there were a number of questions and queries that needed clarification. (EAL were sent specific questions before the meeting).  Questions are below, with answers.  Some information was requested in response, and that is captured here.  We have attempted to summarise the general comments from a wide ranging discussion in the text below and in this document EAL QUESTIONS – we hope to have responses to questions below by end of March.

Meantime have you say at


(GR) The purpose of the Consultation was to get as much as we could for the decision process, a broad swathe was used.  When we came back to look at the options –   A6 came out as preferred – it’s a new option.


Pop 10 to 15,000

(GR) Weighting Table –we cannot show everything – it’s a presentational issue

Taken from 2011 census data – issue to get population measure, spoken to Planners and Developers BUT known expansions have not been included.  This is why it is a Consultation. BUT we need to evidence the Final Report to CAA

(KB) Population Density – can we have these figures – has not included East Calder, Calderwood etc

(GR) Presentational issue – we can assure you East Calder is included (The population numbers for Calderwood, East Calder etc are not included in the assessment and weightings of route A6—so must be included in another column. East Calder, Calderwood and Newlands would be overflown on route A6, but are not mentioned anywhere as being so—except possibly as ‘closer’)

(RMcG) The Chart is wrong – 2 nautical miles either direction, our concern is you have not looked at it properly. GR TO COME BACK WITH DETAIL

It’s the information we are reading in this document, its justified in graphics BUT not in data.

(GR)  We have an independent Reference Group headed by Dame Sue Bruce with other from Business, Tourism, Environmental, Airport Watch etc who have commented and assessed – Good Practice on the first consultation.

(There was much concern from residents that the ‘’assessment’’ of the consultation was seriously flawed, as it did not cover the route A6, which had been entirely misrepresented to Kirknewton, East Calder and Newlands, and that the ‘’small’’ error of the ‘lost’ consultations was being used as the judgement for the entire process—with all the major errors, omissions and ‘interpretations’’ by EAL –as outlined in these notes, being overlooked due to not being shown to the assessor)


What response from the MOD?

(GR)  They have been consulted but not replied. 


(GR)  It was captured and included (Not visible to any Kirknewton enquiries)

GR to point us to the PAGE on the Website and weightings in the tables


These do not tie up. Graphs and Text not back to back – Figure 7 vectoring above 6000 ft

(GR)  We are now using ARNAV/GPS and Satellite technology (At present using Beacons on the ground – these will be discontinued) allows us to be far tighter. We have no control over 6000 ft – at 4,000ft its still in our control.  Earliest point you can start vector is 4000 ft.

We have had to take a view and try to balance it.

(RMcG) The information in this document is very misleading.  Height is important to Noise – What impact is this going to have?

SMcK Noise Mapping – is it based on theoretical –

(GR) – YES

(SMcK) When does that become live?

Noise footprint, loudness, frequency.

(GR)  Consistent measure

Perception of noise has different impacts to different people.

(GD) We are the fastest growing airport in the UK – people make an informed choice where they live.

(RMcG) Good neighbour – they will have a reason to be part of the consultation.

(GR)  – CAA will decide on balance

What effect will EAL have on these people below the flightpath regardless of conscience?

Noise contours terminate at 70 – what happens beyond that?

(GR) CAA set that

(SMcK) You set the brief.  We could make representation to CAA and ask.

(GR)  We can find that out and let you know


What is the benefit for us?

(GD) There is a one billion economic value having an airport, this does not impact on house values.  This was kept out of the consultation for obvious reasons. We will have to consider this.

(SMcK) Kirknewton has transport issues with the Level Crossing, A71 and have 3 major Powerlines, we carry a pretty heavy burden at present.


Reduced C02 emissions on A6 –this argument is pretty spurious.

(GR) Impacts on design, the greater it takes a plane to Istanbul – not a huge impact.

(SMcK) asked if EAL could advise what emissions resulted from each aircraft operation. Particularly small particulates (PM2.5 and PM10) and NOX.

(GR) admitted that these are at their highest during take-off and he promised to REPORT BACK with the relevant data.

(SMcK) We would prefer the Status Quo – same flight paths- No expansion

(GD) We cannot support that

A3 existing on P39- A6 needed for Turbo Prop and then Jets?s (will inevitably follow)

(GR)  No intention to fly Jets, we are currently using Tala, we would need to talk to Communities if there was jets in the future.

How many planes would fly over A6?

(GR)  Between 39 and 41 per day Turbo only. There is no guarantee we are only looking at routes in general.

Jets get high quickly, Turbo props cannot manage that. Preference is for A and

Operationally A6 is better than A3

(GR)  We can give you Consultation Material and Route Option Design.

GR confirmed that any ‘future’ population was weighed less than existing in EAL assessments, which left the 10,000+ population expected in existing approved development plans, as being less important than others under the flight path

Gordon Dewar left the meeting at 1.30pm as planned.

Councillor Carl John asked about flight paths over schools – we have 6 schools in the area, and this did not seem to be Best Practice.

(GR) Wherever you fly it will be over schools. We took the findings on population and tried our best. (Several queries were made in respect of current and future population figures, but EAL had used 2011 census as ‘best available’’—which was seriously disputed by all residents and councillor)

Councillor John asked for the map with schools plotted on it


New populations impacted

(GR)  to provide and place on consultation website with sufficient time to allow public to view before close of consultation


This table does not include either East Calder or Mid Calder both of which fall into the criteria overflown. EAL includes these communities when addressing impact but the Table 3 does not include this. Table 3 is misleading to the Public, Kirknewton should also be shown as Overflown.  Calderwood should also be taken into account.

REVISE TABLE and Provide detailed information.

(TF) Asked about the group reviewing the Consultation

(GR) stated the Consultation Institute are UK Consultation Professionals who assess us. According to CAPS 725 if you want to change airspace this is the way to do it. We are not using you as guinea pigs.  The runway was built in 1976 and growth has enabled us to do it.  We didn’t show EH27 because we changed the design criteria.

Asked – what weighting are you putting on coming here (GR) said VITAL – We are trying to get the best decision for expansion.   We have to demonstrate to the CAA that we have been vigorous and have to justify the decision making process.

Asked is expansion driving you?

(GR)  said that people want to come here, we are selling Scotland and Edinburgh.  There have already been changes in the terminal, more parking spaces we have to provide a service.  GR suggested the extra flights were necessary due to the international expansion planned—but there is concern that this should be reflected in reduced hub connection flights—eg Heathrow—and this is not shown ? The residents generally felt the real objective is to get more flights out early morning 6.00 am onwards—which objective was actually stated by EAL in the past, and expand the retail and car parking operations for business purposes—as demonstrable on the now extended walk required to simply get from security to a gate—always through catering and retail )

SMcK asked if once the expansion had been done, the Company investing in the airport are investing in success and then making a quick buck selling it on.


(GR)  said he was happy to have a drop in at East Calder.

VG asked if you were to consider not to fly over A6 what would the next preference be.

(GR)  stated that we would put them in A but we need to balance it out.  The airline feedback is to be able to turn quickly to get high quickly and A6 is the option.

GR stated he would share the algorithm on the decisions—including flight numbers, impacts on noise, fuel pollution, risks of overflying and tranquillity.

(This is not the airline or pilots choice—it is EAL plan to get more planes off the ground in a short period)

CAP 725 Tranquillity Measure?

Stewart McKenna thanked Gordon Robertson for his time and looked forward to receiving the updates that have arisen (missing information and corrections which have been promised, expected end of March).

The meeting closed at 2pm.

One comment

  1. Kirknewton is 3 miles away…..
    They are going to fly 50 turboprops at the moment and could go up to 75
    They can use vertical take off……I have personally seen them take off then go West or East. I also watched a short video of vertical take offs so why can’t they do that.
    All confirmed by the Flight Controller who I would imagine does know what he is talking about.
    The Flight Controller Douglas used to be posted in Kirknewton and used our Air Field so again knows what he is talking about.

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