Fears of a rerun of flightpath consultation affecting areas of Bearsden and Bishopbriggs

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There are fears of a rerun of Glasgow Airport’s consultation on flightpath changes - despite hundreds of local people already submitting their views.

Bearsden south and Bishopbriggs are particularly affected by the proposed changes to flight take-offs and hundreds of people have expressed their concerns at special consultation meetings, with 400 turning up recently at Bearsden community hub.

Local MSP Gil Paterson told the Herald he has received a letter from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which he says, on the face of it, suggests there will be a need for a rerun of the Glasgow Airport’s Consultation on Airspace Changes.

The current consultation is scheduled to end tomorrow, Friday, April 13.

Both Mr Paterson, and Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP Rona Mackay, have written to the Civil Aviation Authority with a series of questions on the matter.

Mr Paterson said: “I am extremely surprised at the content of the letter I received from the CAA as I have known for around 10 months of Glasgow Airport’s plans to carry out this statutory function and the proposed timing. As far as I am aware, the CAA had approved both the timing and the criteria.

He continued: “Although the letter suggests that the Glasgow Airport Consultation process will need to be undertaken again because changes were being made to that process simultaneously by the CAA, it looks to me that the airport has been caught in the middle of these changes.

“It’s not entirely clear in the letter from the CAA what the changes are or how they will impact on the public. For instance; will those who have already taken the trouble to personally attend the consultation venues to register their views and/or also those that have submitted directly to Glasgow Airport be required to do so again in ordered to respond to the possible changes in the new criteria? The letter is not at all clear on these points.

“This is a very unsatisfactory situation and I am fairly sure many members of the public will be rather annoyed, which I can well understand as I am not best pleased with this outcome myself. Therefore, answers need to be given on just how this has come about, and I intend to get them”.

Mrs Mackay said: “I have written to the CAA twice and have not yet received a comprehensive or satisfactory explanation. The CAA have said the changes are necessary due to the UK Government’s Department of Transport changing the criteria of the new airspace change process. This once again highlights why we should have control over our own airspace and flight path planning in Scotland.”

In response, a spokesperson for Glasgow Airport told the Herald this morning that he wanted to reassure local people that they wouldn’t have to resubmit their views.

He said: “The important point to make is that people won’t need to re-register their views.

“The feedback we have received from local communities over the past 13 weeks has proved extremely valuable and will play a vital role in informing the next stage of our proposals.

“We would like to thank all those who have participated in the consultation and would encourage those who have not already done so, to share their views before the consultation closes on Friday 13 April 2018.

“Full details can be found at www.glasgowairport.com/airspace.

He added: “We now need the CAA to clarify what further work may be required. It may involve further consultation which would provide people with a further opportunity to share their views”.