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Noise FAQs

Why are you flying over me (easterly or westerly) when there is no wind?

ATC is responsible for deciding the direction of operation and makes its decision based upon a number of factors including; the current prevailing wind speed and direction at the airfield both on the ground and in the air (what is happening at 1000ft and 2000ft above ground is also very important), the forecast for the next 4 to 6 hours, and information from pilots. The position is kept under review and any changes made to reflect changing weather conditions. The weather forecast from the Met Office is not a reliable indicator of what is happening at Edinburgh since the Met Office forecast to the public is general and relates to ground level.

Have the flight paths been changed - I've never noticed aircraft over here before?

There has been no change in policies relating to how Edinburgh operates, including how ATC directs aircraft, nor in the position of the noise preferential routes, or the position of the Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) radio beams which aircraft use to bring them into land on the last stage of their journey. These routes have been in place for over 30 years.

On occasion, when we carryout essential repairs to the main runway, we will use the contingency runway. Whilst we will keep the use of this runway to a minimum it can result in noise over the south west of Edinburgh which is an area that does not normally experience noise. We will publicise this change in operation where possible.

Can I get compensation for noise disturbance?

Aircraft noise is specifically exempted from the controls in general environmental protection legislation because it is already controlled by civil aviation legislation. The Civil Aviation Act 1982 provides that no action shall lie in respect of trespass or in respect of nuisance, by reason only of the flight of an aircraft over any property so long as the provisions of the legislation and any relevant Air Navigation Orders have been complied with.

We offer a Noise Insulation Scheme to residential properties in the 66 dBLeq contour and above. More information on this can be found on the Noise and Blight Assistance Schemes webpages.

If I complain about noise what happens to the complaint?

Every complaint received is registered and investigated, and responded to if requested. A specialised complaint handling service is used, combining a database, mapping system and flight and noise records.

Why do some aircraft appear to fly so much lower than others?

It is quite normal for aircraft to operate at a range of heights. It is important to stress that aircraft vary considerably in size and larger aircraft do often appear to be operating lower than others.

How do I know if the aircraft that I have seen was on the right flight path and flying at the correct height?

ATC is in constant contact with all aircraft, and they define their route and heights. If you feel an aircraft is flying where it should not be please contact us using the details below and will investigate this.

What if I have a question about a specific aircraft or noise -€“ who do I contact?

Please note the time of the noise event and get in touch via one of the methods below. If you have access to the internet at the time of the incident it is possible to get the flight number through public websites such as

Online: By filling out our Feedback form

Text message: Start your message with EDIFEEDBACK and send to 80800

Write to: Edinburgh Airport, Capital House, Edinburgh EH12 9DN


Dedicated free noise line: 0800 731 3397

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 an acknowledgement. We aim to respond to all inquiries in 5 working days.