Aircraft to be banned from flying over Forth bridges

Queensferry Crossing
Queensferry Crossing

Airspace is to be restricted as part of a raft of anti-terror measures surrounding the opening of the new Queenferry Crossing.

Police Scotland revealed today that from 7pm tonight until 12.30am all private aircraft will be banned from flying less than 3000 ft above an area surrounding the Forth Road Bridge, the Forth Rail Bridge and the Queensferry Crossing.

The ban, which also applies to drones, will be applied between 8am and 8.30pm on Saturday, September 2, between 8am and 8.30pm on Sunday, September 3, and between 8am and 2pm on Monday, September 4.

A spokesman said: “These restrictions are to ensure the safety of the public in the air and on the ground and water within the area during the opening events.

“Aircraft operating in the service of Police Scotland, the Scottish Ambulance Service or Maritime and Coast Guard Agency can fly within this area, as can aircraft approaching or departing Edinburgh Airport under the control of Edinburgh Air Traffic Control as will those aircraft flying in accordance with permission from the Police Scotland, Air Accidents and Incidents Advisor.

“Aircraft, including drones, are governed by the Air Navigation Order 2016 and other legislation and it is the responsibility of the pilot to ensure any flights outwith restricted areas are legal and safe.”

The news comes as final preparations are made to open the £1.35 billion replacement for the Forth Road Bridge on Wednesday.

They include anti-terrorist barriers which will be erected on the Queensferry Crossing to protect 66,500 walkers crossing the bridge from Saturday.

Tight security will be in place for the events, in which 50,000 people, chosen from 226,000 entries, are due to cross on Saturday and Sunday. They will be followed by 6,500 bridge workers and their families on Sunday evening and 10,000 local school pupils and residents two days later.

Walkers taking the 1.7-mile stroll will also have to wear security passes containing their photograph and must bring passports or other ID, while bags will be searched.

The Scottish Government’s Transport Scotland agency said: “In the current state of heightened security, appropriate measures are being taken by the project, in collaboration with the relevant authorities, to ensure the safety of all participants involved in the opening events.”

The Queen will mark the bridge’s opening in ceremonies at either end on Monday, 4 September – 53 years to the day after she opened its neighbour.

Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, who is due to make one of his occasional returns to public engagements, she is expected to cut a ribbon and unveil a plaque on the Edinburgh side before being driven across the bridge to unveil another plaque at the Fife end.

The Queensferry Crossing will not re-open until 7 September after removal of the barriers.