As long as people want to fly, there will be noise from aircraft landing and taking off. Although today's aircraft are typically 75% quieter than those used in the 1960s, the number of aircraft using Edinburgh Airport has increased since then to circa 96,000 flights per annum. Although similar to the number of flights in 2003 is down from a pre-recession number of 107,000 flights per annum.
The latest figures published by the Civil Aviation Authority show Edinburgh Airport to be quieter today than any point in the past. This is because older and more noisy aircraft are being phased out - replaced by quieter and more environmentally friendly models.
Making a complaint to Edinburgh Airport about noise
Edinburgh Airport has a dedicated phone number for members of the public to raise concerns about noise.
Dedicated number: 0800 731 3397 (freephone 24/7)
All callers will be asked to leave their name and contact information, along with details of the date and time of any disturbance. All calls are recorded and complaints investigated. The airport aims to contact each individual caller within two working days. They will be provided with either an answer to their enquiry or will be told how long they can expect to wait for a full response.
In May 2006, Edinburgh Airport chose to introduce a voluntary system of noise fining. Any aircraft that breaks the stated noise thresholds set down by the UK Government is now automatically fined, with the level of the fine dependent on the level of infringement. Two different noise thresholds are used, one for daytime and one for night time. The level of fines imposed were doubled in 2007 and since the introduction of this new system, Edinburgh Airport has seen a significant fall in the number of aircraft making excessive noise on departure from the airport. All money raised from noise fines is placed into the Edinburgh Airport Community Fund.
The Civil Aviation Authority, which acts as the independent regulator of aviation in the UK, produces noise contour maps for Edinburgh Airport every five years. These contours measure the average noise at Edinburgh Airport over the busiest hours of the day and busiest months at the airport, using the db Leq noise scale.
The latest noise contours from the CAA show that despite an increase in traffic, Edinburgh Airport is quieter today than five years ago and quieter than in 1990.
View decrease in noise contours (2MB PDF)
Night time noise
Edinburgh Airport is a 24 hour operational airport, and has been for over 20 years. However, the number of night flights operating at Edinburgh Airport between midnight and 05:00 has actually fallen over the last ten years. In 1998, over 4,250 flights landed or took off from Edinburgh Airport between midnight and 05:00. In 2007, that number had reduced to 2,809.