Local MSP Gil Paterson has revealed that he is in possession of a letter from the UK Civil Aviation Authority addressed to an official at Glasgow Airport, which, he says, confirms that careful consideration to the proposals for the present Glasgow Airport consultation was given by both the CAA and the airport and that, after this consideration, the CAA gave assurances that the proposals would be assessed against existing guidance and timelines.
Speaking about the letter, Mr Paterson said:
“I was shocked to discover that, as late as December 2017, the Civil Aviation Authority were saying that it would not be feasible or reasonable to expect Glasgow Airport to fully comply with the new process on consultations because of the amount of work and planning that had already been done.
“You have to remember that Glasgow Airport had been planning this for two years, well before the new process came into being. They say that they went beyond the requirements of previous guidelines in order to try to anticipate any new criteria yet to be finalised.
“The letter in my possession backs this up so I would like to know what has changed since December 2017 to warrant such a complete about-turn by the CAA right at the end of the consultation period?
“There may be good reason for the change of heart but I have written to the Civil Aviation Authority asking for answers to a number of questions and the response I received does not make things any clearer.
“The CAA confirmed that they were aware of the timing of the consultation in advance of its implementation and also that they agreed with the process used by Glasgow Airport. They offer no explanation for how this could possibly happen.
“Along with others, I have put in a fair amount of time and resources in order that the public be made aware of this very important consultation. From the numbers who participated it would seem that my constituents engaged enthusiastically and it is unacceptable for them to be inconvenienced by this.
“They turned out at the public meetings, they submitted their views, they made their feelings known and would be justified in feeling anger if their participation were to be devalued in any way because of this 11th hour change of mind.”