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.
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.
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.
In the initial consultation we showed the design envelopes (areas within which each flight path could be positioned). Using the feedback from the initial consultation, route design options were formulated. This second consultation presents the results of this design process, our preferred options and why these were selected. It also details reasons why other flight path options were considered but not preferred.
Ultimately the objective of these proposals is to have less noise impact across the region as a whole. Where possible, routes will be positioned to minimise the number of people overflown. In some areas flight paths will change and this may mean some areas will be overflown more than today, others less, and some will not notice any significant change.
Our second consultation is asking communities, organisations and elected officials if they agree or disagree with our preferred flight path options and why.