From our correspondent - A blinding moment of clarity:
Why Edinburgh Airport could not cope
with a doubling of flights to one a minute.
The current controversy over the trial additional westerly flight path (TURTUR) at Edinburgh airport and the shambolic way the Airport Management is handling this, came sharply into focus for me yesterday.
I was picking up my wife who was returning from Stockholm at 1pm and immediately upon leaving the A9 slip road I joined a slow-moving procession of cars and taxis which was unbroken from that point all the way through the drop-off zone and back to the airport exit – a distance of roughly 2.5km.
The blinding moment of clarity? One poor red-faced, high-vis-jacketed man frantically directing cars and people at Edinburgh Airport's Achilles Heel – the point where all the foot traffic in and out of the terminal has to CROSS all the car traffic at a two metre square area of tarmac immediately before the car drop-off zone!
My mind flashed to the early days of road travel when a man with a flag was required to precede the vehicle to warn of danger! With all the changes to road and building layout and the addition of the trams in the vicinity of the terminal building in recent years – it is clear that someone has managed to 'design' themselves into a corner from which there is no return!
While most of Europe has moved towards separating human and vehicular traffic to avoid the concomitant health and safety dangers, Edinburgh Airport is expecting passengers to pass directly through this stream of traffic on their way to and from the car parking facilities. What is more – it's clearly not working – this is a huge bottleneck in a tiny area – all it takes is a jet-lagged family with mountains of luggage ambling across this pedestrian crossing wondering where they have to go to find car hire or a bus and the whole airport is in chaos.
How on earth could Edinburgh Airport cope with a doubling of flights to one a minute with the addition of the TURTUR flight path when the fundamental road infrastructure which feeds traffic in and out of the airport is already on its knees? As a rough estimate, if the passenger throughput doubles, then the A9 which is already seriously choked along its length to Newbridge roundabout at rush hours, is set to become an extension of the airport road system!
The fact that this could be so alarmingly clear to me as a scenario on such a basic level, tends to indicate that the Management at the Airport and presumably its professional advisors are totally incompetent. No surprise then at the fiasco of the TURTUR flightpath trial which has been so badly handled that they are now asking for places to put noise monitoring devices less than a month before the trial is due for early cancellation...!