Flight path changes which will cause more noise for Fife communities are being rushed through, a campaigner has claimed.
Helena Paul, who leads the Stop Edinburgh Airspace Trial (SEAT) campaign, said Edinburgh Airport was pressing ahead with flight path plans before the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) tightens is procedures for airspace changes.
The CAA said reviewing its airspace change process was to “ensure that all stakeholders are adequately consulted as part of a transparent, proportionate process”.
The outcome of a recent consultation on a revised airspace change process will be announced next month.
However, Edinburgh Airport robustly defended its approach to consulting communities on the changes, which will see air routes changed to take advantage of modern navigation technology instead of outdated radio beacons.
Ms Paul said: “Edinburgh Airport is using the current process, which even the CAA recognised was not fit for purpose.
“Part of the reason they’re in such a hurry to do their consultation is because the CAA is making changes to their rules which would make these changes more difficult in the future.”
Edinburgh Airport maintains that no decisions have been made about the new flight paths and said proposals would be put before local communities early next year, following the initial public consultation.
Concerns have been raised by Kinghorn residents that jets taking off from the airport will fly no more than 4,000 feet over the Fife town, causing excessive noise.
It has been argued that the new routes are needed to accommodate growth.
Ms Paul added: “The number of planes they are operating into and out of that airport is now 15% fewer than 10 years ago.
“The reason for that is there are bigger planes, which are carrying more people.
“When the airport says they need new flight paths for growth, it’s not backed up by the figures.
“They do not need to create new flight paths and they do not need to create more noise for 100,000 people.”
Edinburgh Airport spokesman Gordon Robertson said the CAA had approved the consultation process for its flight path proposals.
“There’s no rushing through. We’re following the legislation and statutory guidance that currently exists,” he said.
Mr Robertson urged local residents to respond to the current consultation on flight path changes.
He said: “Tell us what we need to know and we will design some options for further consultation.
“We have to prove our case to the CAA. We need to demonstrate a need for growth.”