Kirknewton Community Council response to airspace consultation

Dear Sir,

Volunteers in local communities have limited time, resources and expertise to respond to proposals from well resourced corporations. Nevertheless Kirknewton Community Council believes there are significant flaws in Edinburgh Airport Limited’s Airspace Change proposals. At the very least EAL should withdraw the current consultation and start again ensuring that information on which decisions are based are accurate now and in the known future.

As an example of this from P43 of your consultation document, Calderwood is planned to have 2,800 homes on completion. This represents a population of around 10,000 very close to the new A6 Standard Instrument Departure route but not taken into account by the change plans. East Calder – population around 6,000+ – is presumably included in Livingston. As you will see on the next page, to say flights are further away from this population is factually inaccurate.

Airport table

In reply to responses from the communities affected, EAL said:

“The route does not fly over Kirknewton, East Calder or Mid Calder but does pass closer than current operations. As we have explained not all towns and villages have been included in the population matrix.”

airport 2Why were all towns and villages not included in the population matrix? It cannot be any part of a reasonable consultation to discard evidence because it does not suit the proposer’s case. In the map extract clearly Calderwood and the new developments around Raw Holdings are directly overflown.

In addition, sound reduces in volume with the square of the distance. Turboprops will overfly Calderwood and East Calder as low as 2000ft. Today they pass over Livingston nearer to 4000ft. Twice the distance equals one quarter of the volume. So even if the number of people overflown is less, the impact of the noise on residents of East Calder, Calderwood and Kirknewton is likely to be significantly greater.

But is the number overflown actually lower?

airport 3

In order to accommodate tripling the jet departure rate from one every three minutes to one a minute, turboprops are to be turned south more quickly over Calderwood, East Calder and Kirknewton. B5 is as the airport says the existing GOSAM route to the west then south. Given that the proposal amounts to three flights in the same time as one, the B5 route represents a 50% increase in overflights of Livingston.

On page 143 of the consultation document, Letters of Agreement with other airspace users contain an agreement with the Ministry of Defence to allow safe operation of gliders at Kirknewton Volunteer Gliding School. When this agreement is activated at weekends and during school holidays, the claimed benefits of sending turboprops over Kirknewton will be negated.

Reverting turboprops to the route over Polbeth will increase jet departure intervals to the same as now. This appears to negate this aspect of the proposed change entirely as airlines presumably cannot base schedules on whether the air cadets happen to be flying on a particular day in the future.

airport 4

Kirknewton Community Council respectfully requests that Edinburgh Airport Limited withdraw their current SID and STAR change proposals and if necessary come back with proposals that are consistent with a properly identified need.

Yours faithfully,

John Thomas, Treasurer Anne Pinkerton, Vice Chair

On behalf of Kirknewton Community Council

One comment

  1. We’ve had a response to this, addressed to Pat as Secretary, no-one who is signatory to the letter saying that all responses must go via the website. I now have to figure out how to upload screen shots into their text boxes. Most unhelpful.

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