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How To Get Permission To Fly A Drone In Edinburgh

As drones become more popular, there are more people who want to fly them in Edinburgh. This article will provide a guide to getting permission to fly your drone in Edinburgh.

The City of Edinburgh Council has introduced a Drone Policy in response to an upsurge in public request and usage of drones (or Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAV)) on council managed land including parks, roads and public open spaces.

Applying For Permission

To fly a drone in Edinburgh, you will require permission to take off or land on any council-owned land. You can apply for permission by contacting publicsafety@edinburgh.gov.uk.

You will need to provide your name, contact information, the make and model of your drone, and the dates and times you would like to fly it. You should also include a flight plan, your CAA license and insurance details.

What Restrictions Are Placed On Drone Flights?

The City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) may refuse any request made for recreational or commercial purposes as to fly drones on City of Edinburgh Council land.Permission guide to fly a drone in edinburgh

Drone permits will only be granted, where usage of a drone device:

  • Aids risk reduction in the workplace i.e. working at height, building survey work
  • Is to undertake a professional service, i.e. Festivals & Events Media, filming, etc. whilst working within the constraints of Scottish Drone Laws

Reasons for the Council stance for recreational or commercial requests;

  • The close proximity of many of our sites to neighbouring residential, educational and business properties and the potential risk of causing alarm, distress or harassment to occupants.
  • The potential risk of accident, injury to other site users or property as a result of user or drone error.
  • CEC granting permission could leave the local authority liable for subsequent actions brought about by drone activity when operated from land under our ownership

Which agencies are responsible for granting permissions?

The Edinburgh council has a number of departments that manage separate areas for granting drone permission. These depend on where you wish to take off and fly your drone. See our list below.

Flying Over Edinburgh’s Roads

Requests to fly from any part of the roads network of the City of Edinburgh should be made via “ROAD OCCUPATION PERMITS” You can also contact them at roads@edinburgh.gov.uk.

Apply for a Road Occupation Permit Application

Flying Over Trams And Railways

Trams / Rail – Requests to fly from or near any part of the tram network should be made through the “AUTHORITY TO WORK PERMIT” outlined in the Code of Practice. You can also contact them at parks@edinburgh.gov.uk.

Apply for a Trams and Railways Permit

Flying in Edinburgh’s Parks and Green Spaces

If you are planning on flying a drone in any park or green space managed by the City of Edinburgh Council you will need to apply for permission from the Parks and Greenspace Department. You can also contact them at parks@edinburgh.gov.uk.

Apply for a Parks and Green Spaces Permit

Council Owned Land

You can apply for permission by contacting publicsafety@edinburgh.gov.uk.

What Do I need to supply?

Applications to public safety should be made well in advance and be accompanied by:

Depending on the assessment of the above further documentation is likely, these commonly include;

  • A Traffic Order or Traffic Notice as well as A Traffic Management Plan: required if the flight is close to or includes a highway. A fee will be applicable to obtain this additional permission.
  • Stewarding Plan: description and maps of what control measures will be in place and where stewards will be located whilst the UAV is in use.

What are the consequences of flying a drone without permission?

If a person is found to be using an unauthorised drone or model aircraft on or from Edinburgh Council land without permission they will be requested to stop immediately. If the user refuses to stop, Police Scotland will be called to attend to cease activity and remove the user from City of Edinburgh Council land. You must follow all of Scotland’s drone laws.

How long does it usually take to get permission to fly a drone in Edinburgh airspace?

It is worth bearing in mind that the permission process involves consultation with local Councillors and community groups and takes approximately six weeks to complete (it can take longer for large events) so we advise that applications are submitted as early as possible.

edinburgh castle

If you’re in doubt about how to apply for a permit, we can help.

Leslie Drones is Edinburgh‘s most experienced drone service and aerial photography company. A company that has been providing high-quality drone services in Edinburgh since 2016, Leslie Drones is proud to offer clients an array of options for their projects.

We serve both commercial and private clients. Whether it’s drone roof inspections or marketing videos and photos; our team will make sure that every task goes smoothly from start to finish with excellent customer service at all times!

We serve the whole of Scotland including Dundee, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Perth and Inverness.

If you’re looking to apply for a permit to fly your drone in Edinburgh airspace, Leslie Drones is the company for you. With years of experience in the industry, we know how to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Contact us today to see how we can help you get the permissions you need for your project!

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