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Safeguarding at Aberdeen International Airport

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GBP = 1065.00 EUR

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Aerodrome safeguarding

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.

Drone information

We have created a dedicated page regarding flying drones near our airport. For more information, see here.

Wind turbines

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.

Cranes and other construction equipment

As of 31st May 2021 Crane operators, construction companies working within the safeguarded zone of Aberdeen International Airport  and contractors who require to operate cranes and lifting equipment within 10 nautical mile of Aberdeen International Airport and at heights of more than 10 metres or at a height higher than that of surrounding structures or trees must in the first instance notify the CAA and complete the online Crane Notification Form (DAP1924). The CAA will then notify AIA Airside Operations Team who will will assess whether the crane falls within the safeguarded area for Aberdeen International Airport, if it does Aberdeen International Airport will carry out an obstacle assessment. In some circumstances, a more detailed assessment will be required and could extend the time taken to grant a permit. Charges apply for the processing of crane applications, details of charges are available on Aberdeen International Airport website within the Safeguarding page.

The CAA recommends initial contact using the notification at least eight weeks before the erection of the crane.

The CAA also recognises that on occasions the eight week notification prior to crane operations commencement is not possible therefore additional notification timescales have been created as follows:

1.PLANNED LONG-TERM PROJECTS: Notification to be sent to the CAA at least eight weeks (40 working days) before the erection of the crane. The CAA will then identify parties that may be affected by the crane and inform the crane user and affected parties about the next steps.

2.AD-HOC PROJECTS: Notification to be sent to the CAA not later than five working days in advance. The CAA will then identify parties that may be affected by the crane and inform the crane user and the affected parties about the next steps.

3.UNFORESEEN AND URGENT PROJECTS: If there is an unforeseen and urgent requirement to erect a crane within 5 working days from the notification, the crane user is required to contact AIA by completing a crane permit application form and emailing it to [email protected]. The CAA Crane Notification Form (DAP1924)  form must then be completed and submitted to the CAA as soon as possible and the crane requestor is to advise that Aberdeen International Airport has been contacted and the reason for less than 5 working days’ notice.

Note if the crane is operating further than the 6km range of Aberdeen International Airport, the notification form should still be submitted to the CAA, who will process such notifications at the earliest opportunity.

Please be aware any crane erected without a positive response received from the CAA or Aberdeen International Airport may be considered a hazard to air navigation and such a crane operates at the crane user’s risk of endangering the safety of an aircraft.

Crane application charges:
The charges are as detailed below.

  • Application with less than 48hrs notice = £250
  • Application with less than 120hrs notice = £150
  • Application greater than 5 days notification = £100
  • Cranes requiring first time and technical assessment = £250
  • Crane Extensions = £50

Crane authorisation form

Crane operating regulations in the vicinity of airfields

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Further guidance

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.

For further guidance on issues relating to aerodrome safeguarding in general, please refer to the Airport Operators Association Guidance Notes.


Alternatively, for more information on the AIA safeguarding process, or to discuss a pre-application proposal, please contact the Safeguarding Team at [email protected].