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About this consultation

We seek to upgrade our aircraft arrival and departure routes to take advantage of the improved navigational capabilities of RNAV and improve the efficiency and capacity of the airspace around Edinburgh Airport.

This consultation presents the proposed aircraft arrival and departure routes to Edinburgh Airport below 7,000ft above ground level (AGL). Above 7,000ft aircraft will join the existing en-route network and proceed via flight planned route/tactical ATC instructions.

Modernising our airspace will allow us to:

  • Help minimise the impact to people on the ground. In particular, by minimising the number of people impacted by overflights below 4,000ft (agl).
  • Ensure our airport can meet existing and future demand by increasing the capacity of its runway.
  • Make improvements to routes to allow more flights to depart with fewer runway delays.
  • Make efficiency improvements to the arrival routes based on a newly-positioned hold pattern to replace the current TWEED hold. Holding will be carried out, as it is today, at or above 7,000ft though the holding pattern itself may be slightly realigned to reduce the impact it has on the ability to ensure continuous climb of departing flights on adjacent routes.
  • Position aircraft more accurately allowing arrival and departure routes to be flown more accurately.

Our aim is to meet these requirements, maximising benefits to Edinburgh and Scotland whilst minimising any negative impacts. Where we are seeking to change a flight path, we will be seeking to minimise the population impacted under the route and work with those affected to mitigate any negative impacts.

RNAV route design

When following RNAV routes, aircraft will follow the routes more consistently than they do today. This is due to the improved track-keeping ability of RNAV. Improved track keeping means that there will be less dispersion of aircraft either side of the route nominal centrelines; this would mean a reduction in the overall area regularly overflown, but an increase in the concentration of over-flights in some areas. While RNAV routes are flown more accurately they also open up the possibility of designing route configurations to specifically address local environmental issues, such as the provision of respite routes to share noise impacts more equitably. This consultation shows all of the route options that have been considered. Many aircraft are already equipped with RNAV technology and prefer to use it where they can because it is more accurate. As a result many aircraft currently flying from Edinburgh already use RNAV versions of conventional arrival and departure routes, so-called ‘RNAV overlays’. This proposal seeks to formalise the use of RNAV by superseding these overlays with officially certified RNAV routes, and introducing new RNAV routes which better meet the objectives stated above. The new RNAV routes would represent a change to the published routes. For this reason, Edinburgh Airport has a duty, as prescribed by the Civil Aviation Authority, Safety and Airspace Regulation Group (CAA, SARG), to follow the procedure set out in CAP725 and consult on any proposals for new routes.

While RNAV routes are flown more accurately they also open up the possibility of designing route configurations to specifically address local environmental issues, such as the provision of respite routes to share noise impacts more equitably. This consultation seeks information that will help us determine how to balance all benefits and impacts to provide the best solution for the region as a whole.