HOUSEHOLDERS who claim their lives have been blighted by noise from a new flightpath have hailed a victory over Edinburgh Airport after bosses announced the trial would be suspended two months early.

Gordon Dewar, the airport's chief executive, told a packed public meeting in Uphall, West Lothian last night that the flightpath trial - scheduled to run until Christmas Eve - would end on October 28 instead.

Mr Dewar said: “We have listened to the communities under the trial flight path and their representatives. Derek McKay, the Transport Minister, has written to me asking if the trial can be shortened once the necessary data has been gathered.

“We will therefore be suspending the trial on October 28. This will allow us to do more work and data gathering whilst responding to feedback from local communities."

He added that he would like to see the current flightpath corridor, which allows planes to deviate a mile either side of the designated route, to be narrowed to reduce the impact zone.

The move follows pressure from MSPs to bring the experiment to a close as soon as possible following thousands of complaints from residents living beneath the trial route, which passes over villages including Blackness and Bo'ness.

During a debate in the Scottish Parliament last week, MSPs said constituents had been "reduced to tears" by noise and sleep deprivation caused by dozens of low-flying aircraft from around 5am to midnight daily.

Criticism was also levelled against airport bosses over a lack of public engagement prior to the launch of the trial in June, but it is in line with Civil Aviation Authority guidelines which do not require airports to conduct a full public consultation prior to testing a new flightpath.

The trial was launched to test the viability of a new departure route at Scotland’s busiest airport in an effort to limit runway congestion in future and prevent unacceptable delays in service and fuel burn as planes wait to take off, particularly at peak times.

Edinburgh Airport said the additional departure route will allow air traffic controllers to reduce the time between aircraft from two minutes to one, boosting capacity.

Mr Dewar added that the number of noise pollution monitors in place would be increased over the final six weeks of the trial. This would accelerate data gathering which can then be used to inform a "full and meaningful consultation" on whether to resurrect the flightpath on a permanent basis, he added.

“Our data collection to date has shown that the trial can deliver more than just runway capacity," said Mr Dewar. "There is evidence of network benefits in the wider Scottish airspace with reduced congestion in some busy sectors. We are also seeing a positive impact on aircraft fuel consumption and subsequent emissions, although we will need to further work to quantify this.

“We are in no doubt that for some this suggested flight path is detrimental. We are also in no doubt that the flight path is one of the main options in delivering the capacity that the airport and the

country needs. We believe that this trialled route is the least detrimental option given the geography we have to deal with.

“There are tough decisions ahead but I hope that we can make them together based on data and balancing the needs of Scottish passengers and local residents.

“We will be engaging with local communities and their representatives in early 2016 to do just that.”

Helena Paul, from Blackness in Linlithgow, who had considered moving due to the noise, said: “The decision is positive in that the field trial that has been making our lives a living hell is going to be ended early, but we still have another month and a half of this to suffer.

“There’s also a sword hanging over us now because we don’t know when they’re going to come back and do it again.

“It’s good news for the communities affected at the minute, but I’ve got no confidence that we won’t suffer the same thing further down the line.

“The fight will continue.”

One resident, Val Millar, tweeted that the decision was a “victory for the community”.