Aerodrome Safeguarding is essentially the protection of a set of flight safety surfaces around the airfield, from any potential physical or technical impacts of a proposed development.
In 2003, BAA assumed responsibility from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as the statutory safeguarding consultee for developments within its individual aerodrome areas. As of September 2012, the responsibility of Aberdeen International Airport’s (AIA) safeguarding was transferred from a central planning team in Heathrow, to AIA, who now oversees all planning applications and pre-planning requests.
The aerodrome safeguarding process is included in UK Legislation as an integral part of planning procedures as outlined in the Town and Country Planning (Safeguarded Aerodromes, Technical Sites and Military Explosives Storage Areas) (Scotland) Direction 2003. It also forms part of AIA’s license agreement, as administered by the CAA, to ensure and maintain the integrity of safe flight operations in and around the aerodrome.
Areas of development interest within 15 km of AIA:
- Tall Structures
- Masts or antennas emitting signals which could interfere with airport navigation aids
- Landscaping schemes which encourage wildlife habitats, including SUDs
- Developments using highly reflective materials such as glazed roofs or photo voltaic cells
- Use of cranage and other tall construction equipment (within 6km)
- Lighting and illuminated signage
- Firework displays, balloon releases and blimp launches
The above list of developments is not exhaustive and AIA encourages early pre-application dialogue with developers where their development may impact upon the operations of the Airport. Pre-application guidance is free of charge for all developments, subject to availability of resource.
The effects of wind turbines on airport radar and navigational systems may lead to a substantial degradation of the ability to provide Air Traffic Services (ATS). It is therefore important for AIA to take a proactive approach together with windfarm developers to ensure the continued safe and efficient operation of the ATS. Any wind farm/turbine application within a 30km radius of the airfield, must be assessed by AIA’s Safeguarding Team to ensure there is no physical or technical effect on safe airport operations.
All Planning Applications received by the Local Planning Authority (LPA) will be forwarded to AIA, as a statutory consultee, for assessment. AIA will assess such applications, in conjunction with National Air Traffic Services (NATS), and forward a formal response to the LPA.
Please note that whilst every effort will be made to offer pre-application advice on turbine proposals with regard to suitability of location (physical safeguarding), technical effects on radar and navigational systems are assessed by NATS. NATS offer a chargeable Pre-application service, available at:
Cranes and other construction equipment
Due to the potential physical and technical effects that tall construction equipment may have on airport operations, AIA should be consulted on any temporary obstacles of significance, such as cranes or other tall construction equipment in the area.
AIA refers Developers to the British Standard Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Cranes, British Standard Institute 7121 - 1:2006 as stated below, which requires operators intending to use a crane in areas surrounding airfields, to consult the aerodrome/airfield manager.
Crane control in the vicinity of aerodromes/airfields: ‘The appointed person should consult the aerodrome/airfield manager for permission to work if a crane is to be used within 6km of the aerodrome/airfield and its height exceeds 10 m or that of the surrounding structures or trees’.
Article 73 of the Air Navigation Order also makes it an offence to act recklessly or negligently in a manner likely to endanger aircraft as stated:
Endangering safety of an aircraft 73: 'A person shall not recklessly or negligently act in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft, or any person therein.'
For an overview on Aerodrome Safeguarding and an understanding of what may or may not effect AIA operations, please refer to the AIA Aerodrome Safeguarding Guidance Document, available here:
AIA Safeguarding Guidance (713kb PDF)
For further guidance on issues relating to aerodrome safeguarding in general, please refer to the Airport Operators Association Guidance Notes available at www.aoa.org.uk/operations-safety/.
Alternatively, for more information on the AIA safeguarding process, or to discuss a pre-application proposal, please contact the Safeguarding Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.