High structures: Chief Planner letter

Advice in relation to helicopter accident - Agusta A109E – G-CRST A1, 2013.

Accident to Agusta A109E – G-CRST, London, 16 January 2013

Earlier today the Air Accidents Investigation Branch published its report on the above accident.

The report contains two recommendations relevant to land use planning and can be accessed at: http://www.aaib.gov.uk/publications/formal_reports/3_2014_g_crst.cfm. Recommendation 2014-029 states "It is recommended that the Scottish Government remind all recipients of Planning Circular 2 2003 that they are requested to notify the Civil Aviation Authority:

  • whenever they grant planning permission for developments which include an obstacle;
  • about obstacles not previously notified
  • about obstacles previously notified that no longer exist.'

I would therefore draw your attention specifically to paragraphs 30 to 32 of Annex 2 to Circular 2/2003 Safeguarding of Aerodromes, Technical Sites and Military Explosives Storage Areas regarding High Structures. The text is included in Annex A for your convenience. Copies of the Circular are available from: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2003/01/16204/17030.

Any action to arise from a second recommendation [recommendation 2014-030], though not specifically mentioning reference to land use planning in Scotland, is currently being given careful consideration by the Scottish Government.

Should you wish to discuss any of the above matters, please contact Graham Robinson at Graham.Robinson@scotland.gsi.gov.uk.

Yours sincerely
John McNairney
Chief Planner

Annex A

Accident to Agusta A109E – G-CRST, London, 16 January 2013

Circular 2/2003 – Extract – Annex 2: Paragraphs 30 – 32 High Structures

30. The Civil Aviation Authority is responsible for recording all air navigation obstacles in the United Kingdom. This record is essential for air safety. Full details of obstacles, that is any building or works extending 91.4 metres or more above ground level, are published for pilots' information and noted on aeronautical maps and charts. Article 109A of the Air Navigation Order 2000 requires the person in charge of any en-route obstacle which extends 150 metres or more above ground level and which is not in the vicinity of a licensed aerodrome to ensure that it is fitted with warning lights and to ensure that they are displayed.

31. Planning authorities are asked to inform the Civil Aviation Authority about new development anywhere within the authority that involves an obstacle, as soon as permission has been granted. The detailed information needed is: (a) Position: an Ordnance Survey Grid reference, correct to at least six figures each of Eastings and Northings, so that the exact position may be plotted; (b) Height: measured to the highest point of the building or works above ground level (where exact figures are not available, to the nearest 1.5 metres). The height above mean sea level should also be stated, if known; (c) Description: a brief description of the nature of the obstacle, for example, a church steeple or water tower. In a group of structures, the number and approximate height of those exceeding 91.4 metres should be given and the extent of ground covered by the group; (d) Developer: state name and address of developer.

32. Planning authorities are also asked to supply similar information to the Civil Aviation Authority about obstacles not previously notified, and to notify the Civil Aviation Authority of any that no longer exist.


Email: chief.planner@gov.scot

Telephone: 0131 244 7528

Area 2-H (South)
Planning and Architecture Division
The Scottish Government
Victoria Quay

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