THE latest proposals to alter flight paths at Edinburgh Airport have been grounded.

The Civil Aviation Authority has rejected the controversial plans as they say differences between the consultation and the final proposals were "too significant."

A spokesperson said: “When considering proposals to change the design of UK airspace, the CAA decides whether or not the ‘Change Sponsor’ (in this case Edinburgh Airport) has acted reasonably in meeting the needs of those affected, including local communities.

“The airport has, in many respects, engaged extensively with communities during the consultation process. However, the differences between the proposal developed in consultation with local communities and the final proposal submitted to the CAA are too significant. Therefore, the CAA will not approve the proposal.”

Edinburgh Airport had applied to change the flight paths as they says its vast growth and change in technology means they need to modernise their airspace.

Last month, North Queensferry Community Council called on the Government to take over the decision from the CAA as it said there were "fundamental defects" in the data in the consultation.

The CAA's letter to the airport said if the Secretary of State still decided to call in the decision, they would recommend it be rejected.

While Edinburgh Airport has described this week's announcement as "disappointing", West Fife politicians have welcomed the outcome.

Douglas Chapman MP said the reasons given by the CAA contained all the issues which communities put into the consultation.

"I am sure Edinburgh Airport will regroup after this serious setback today to submit another proposal in the future," he said.

“I hope that this is a lesson we can all learn from and that we can work together with a more positive, open approach to see our local airport be more successful but also to move forward with local communities and not in spite of local communities."

Cowdenbeath MP Lesley Laird MP welcomed the decision but stressed it was not the "outright victory" communities had hoped for.

“The matter is still to go before the UK Secretary of State but, unsurprisingly, Edinburgh Airport is already planning on conducting a new consultation," he said. “This time, however, it would be subject to new tighter CAA rules.

“Under these the airport will be required to be more transparent, provide more technical information and give much more weight to communities’ views.

“Given the airport failed to get its proposal past old, more relaxed, rules, indicates to me they’ve got a tough journey ahead of them but we must also be ready to do our homework.

“Let’s hope that these new rules work in the public’s favour.”

Edinburgh Airport’s Director of Communications, Gordon Robertson said they would now look at their next steps.

“We are disappointed with the CAA’s decision as we believe that it is important that Airspace Change is addressed for Scotland, allowing the country to continue to benefit from growth in air travel," he said.

“We note that the CAA has based its decision on a view that we submitted a proposal which does not accord with the material that was provided to stakeholders in consultation, which in the CAA’s opinion could have made people respond differently to the questions asked.

“Specifically, the CAA has noted that by the time the proposal was made, there had been further amendments to the projected levels of traffic for some of the routes that meant further consultation was necessary.

“Although we believe that we have gone above and beyond the required procedures to ensure that we have fully consulted with and involved our communities, we accept the decision and will recommence the consultation process and undertake the necessary work to support this.

“Our goal remains to provide greater connectivity and safe, efficient and sustainable travel opportunities for Scotland."