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The aerodrome safeguarding process for officially safeguarded aerodromes is included in UK legislation as an integral part of the Planning Process. It is set out in Circular 01/2003 ‘Safeguarding of Aerodromes, Technical Sites & Military Explosives Storage Areas: The Town & Country Planning (Safeguarded aerodromes, Technical Sites & Military Explosives Storage Areas) Circular 02/2003 for Scotland, available at

Aerodrome safeguarding covers a number of aspects:

  • Protecting the airspace around an aerodrome to ensure no buildings or structures may cause danger to aircraft either in the air or on the ground. This is achieved through the ‘Obstacle Limitation Surfaces’ (OLS).

  • Protecting the integrity of radar and other electronic aids to navigation by preventing reflections and diffractions of the radio signals.

  • Protecting aeronautical lighting, such as approach and runway lighting, by ensuring that they are not obscured by any proposed development and also that any proposed lighting could not be confused for aeronautical ground lighting.

  • Protecting the aerodrome from any increased wildlife strike risk. In particular bird strikes, which pose a serious threat to flight safety.

  • Preventing any construction processes from interfering with aerodrome operations through the production of dust/smoke, temporary lighting or construction equipment impacting on radar and other navigational aids.

  • Protecting aircraft from the risk of collision with obstacles through appropriate lighting.

The Airport Operators Association (AOA) has produced several advice notes providing useful information and guidance on safeguarding issues. These can be viewed here.

Edinburgh Airport’s Safeguarding Assessment Process:

We would recommend that developers seek safeguarding advice prior to the submission of a planning application. We are happy to provide pre-planning advice. For Edinburgh Airport pre-planning charges please click here.

Please send any pre-planning requests to [email protected]

Edinburgh Airport Crane Permit Applications please click here:

Crane Permit Applications

Edinburgh Airport Assessment Process – download here.